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Lake City Middle School students showcase their technology skills in Extreme Classroom

Open house event celebrates completion of ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover

August 6, 2014

Lake City Middle School students showcase their technology skills in Extreme Classroom

ROCKY TOP, Tenn.—Students, parents, and teachers toured the new “science studio” during the Tuesday, Aug. 5 reveal of Susan Silvey’s recently outfitted classroom full of state-of the-art technology. Silvey, a science teacher at Lake City Middle School, was the winner of this year’s $30,000 grant from ORAU’s Extreme Classroom Makeover competition.

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

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

“As global competition in STEM subjects increases, so does the need to keep our nation’s students excited and passionate about learning,” said ORAU President Andy Page. “By bringing technology into the classroom and giving teachers like Mrs. Silvey 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 Lake City school administration, joined students from the winning class and their parents for the big reveal of “Silvey’s Science Studio—A Place for Exploration and Innovation.” Event attendees explored stations similar to those students will experience during the school year featuring new learning tools that included microscopes, a Promethean board, laptops, charging cart, and a state-of-the-art sound system.

“Using a variety of technology devices in my classroom, I hope to help my students embrace the new Common Core demands in science and to enhance our studies in other areas,” said Silvey. “This experience has been great. From the research I completed over the summer, I have decided to return to school in the fall and work towards receiving a master’s degree in educational technology.”

Contest winners for the previous years include:

Contestants entering ORAU’s competition were required to teach 3rd-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. To view Mrs. Silvey’s winning video go to

Another ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover contest will take place in 2015 and interested teachers can submit an “Intent to Apply” beginning Wed., August 20. 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).

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