Skip Navigation

ORAU celebrates Extreme Classroom Makeover at A. L. Lotts Elementary

Karla Fultz’s fifth grade class will start the school year in newly outfitted classroom

July 31, 2013

Students test the new iPads with A.L. Lotts Fifth Grade Teacher Karla Fultz at the Exteme Classroom Makeover open house.

Students test the new iPads with A.L. Lotts Fifth Grade Teacher Karla Fultz at the Exteme Classroom Makeover open house.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Students, parents, teachers and media experienced the next generation of classrooms during the Tuesday, July 30 reveal of Karla Fultz’s newly outfitted classroom full of state-of the-art technology. Fultz, a fifth grade math and science teacher at A. L. Lotts Elementary School, was the winner of this year’s $25,000 grant from ORAU’s Extreme Classroom Makeover competition.

In its fifth year, the grant highlights and supports educators who use technology in the classroom to inspire more students to pursue math and science-based careers.

“As global competition increases, so does the need to keep our nation’s students excited and passionate about learning STEM subjects,” said ORAU President Andy Page. “By bringing technology into the classroom and giving teachers like Mrs. Fultz the tools they need, the Extreme Classroom Makeover helps demonstrate the importance and countless number of possibilities technology can bring to both teachers and students.”

Page, along with superintendent of Knox County Schools Dr. Jim McIntyre, joined students from the winning class and their parents for the big reveal of Mrs. Fultz’s technologically enhanced classroom, aptly themed “iLearn.”

The fifth grade teacher spent the summer selecting her new technology, installing it in her classroom and preparing for her new class of rising fifth graders. Her arsenal of learning technology was on full display during the reveal.

Following the theme, “iLearn” attendees explored stations similar to those students will experience during the schools year such as:

  • iPreview—examining the new and interactive reading curriculum available online
  • iVisualize—exploring the Aurasma application to instantly gain interactive versions of images placed around the room
  • iExplore—interacting with various science applications to learn more about the many facets of science
  • iCompute—competing in fun, educational games against other students from around the world
  • iQuiz—testing knowledge of the winning Gangnam Style video by answering trivia questions with the new ActivExpression responders

“Using a variety of technology devices in my classroom, I hope to help my students embrace the new Common Core demands in math and science and to enhance our studies in other areas,” said Fultz. “My students will be engaged in differentiated learning throughout each day that will hopefully help them to meet their educational needs.”

Contest winners for the previous years include Heather Burkhart, a fifth grade math and science teacher at Pigeon Forge Middle School; Herman Sutton, a fifth grade math teacher at Green Magnet Math and Science Academy; Jordan Haney, a fifth grade teacher at Rocky Hill Elementary School; and Jenny Alvey, a sixth grade science teacher from Gresham Middle School. Contestants entering ORAU’s competition were required to teach third-11th grade math or science and work for a public school located within 50 miles of Oak Ridge.

Additionally, each teacher submitted a short video illustrating the classroom’s need and explaining how the new technologies would be used to energize and enhance learning. View Mrs. Fultz’s winning video online.

Another ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover contest will take place in 2014 and interested teachers can submit an “Intent to Apply” beginning Wednesday, Aug. 7. For more information please visit

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).

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
Work: 865.576.3146
Cell: 865.603.5142

Wendy West
Work: 865.576.0028
Cell: 865.207.7953