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ORAU celebrates 2011 Extreme Classroom Makeover Reveal

Local math hero unveils his classroom filled with the latest technology

August 9, 2011

Dr. Jim McIntyre looks over new technology with students at the Extreme Clasroom Makeover reveal ceremony

Knox County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jim McIntyre joins students in looking over the new technology in the classroom of Herman Sutton, the 2011 Extreme Classroom Makeover grand prize winner. Students, parents, and school officials celebrated the unveiling of Sutton’s new classroom at Green Magnet Math and Science Academy on Aug. 9. Click image to enlarge.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—During an uncertain time of school budget cuts, it is important to recognize those in the system that are true heroes. Although their contributions to communities are often not showcased, teachers make up a large part of our world’s heroes because of their large role in shaping the future of our nation. One local math hero, from Green Magnet Math and Science Academy, was recognized Tuesday for his commitment to teaching and celebrated as the winning teacher of Oak Ridge Associated Universities’ Extreme Classroom Makeover where he revealed his newly outfitted classroom full of state-of-the-art technology.

Earlier this year, Herman Sutton, a 5th grade math teacher at Green Magnet, received a $25,000 grant for technology and other enhancements in his classroom. In its third year, the grant highlights and supports educators who use technology in the classroom to inspire more students to pursue math, and science-based careers.

“We realize at ORAU that inspiring students to pursue math and science careers has to begin very early in their education,” said ORAU President Andy Page. “By bringing technology in the classroom and arming teachers like Mr. Sutton with the tools they need, the Extreme Classroom Makeover helps demonstrate the limitless possibilities technology can offer to students and educators.”

Page and Dr. Jim McIntyre, superintendent of Knox County Schools, along with students from the winning class and their parents, gathered on Tuesday for the big reveal of Mr. Sutton’s technologically enhanced classroom.

“The Extreme Classroom Makeover project has been a tremendous partnership with ORAU to benefit our schools and students,” said Dr. Jim McIntyre, Superintendent of the Knox County Schools. “This partnership helps us to envision and create the ideal technology-enhanced learning environment for our children. This competition assists the Knox County Schools and other school districts in providing the technology tools teachers need to bolster classroom instruction, promote learning in innovative ways, and ultimately contribute to increased academic success.”

Students experimenting with an iPad

Click image to enlarge.

Sutton’s arsenal of learning technology was on full display during the reveal. Attendees were given the opportunity to explore math applications on iPads, watch Sutton’s journey to become the grand prize winner on laptops, and play a game of math Jeopardy with interactive clickers.

“I am looking forward to using all of this new technology in order to spark the imagination of my students in the subject of math,” said Sutton. “Thanks to ORAU, I am hoping that with all of the technology and training I received over the summer will help me to excite students about math, and let them see the subject in a fun and interesting way.”

This is the third year ORAU has sponsored the Extreme Classroom Makeover project. Contest winners for the previous two years include been Jordan Haney, a 5th grade teacher at Rocky Hill Elementary School, and Jenny Alvey, a 6th grade science teacher from Gresham Middle School. Contestants entering ORAU’s competition must teach 5th-8th grade math or science for and work for a public school located within 50 miles of Oak Ridge. Additionally, each teacher must submit a short video illustrating the classroom’s need and explain how the new technologies would be used to energize and enhance learning.

View Mr. Sutton’s winning video

Another ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover contest will take place in 2012. A call for “Intents to Apply” will be announced later this fall at

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Interested in applying for the 2011 Extreme Classroom Makeover?
Check back this fall to submit your intent to apply!

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
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