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Area teachers start summer STEM programs with a splash

Workshop offered as part of ORAU’s free educator technology professional development program

June 17, 2016

Raye Pedigo, Jefferson County High School math and science teacher, tests her team’s underwater remotely operated vehicle as part of the SeaPerch workshop offered through ORAU’s Center for Science Education.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—More than 20 middle school and high school educators from East Tennessee gathered in ORAU’s Center for Science Education last week to participate in SeaPerch, a professional development workshop where participants constructed and tested underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV).

Lt. Cmdr. Nikki Peoples of the U.S. Navy assisted educators as they created ROVs using a kit comprised of low-cost, easily accessible parts and a curriculum focused on basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. Once the ROVs were completed, participants tested their “sea-worthiness” at a local recreation center pool.

The SeaPerch Program, created by the Office of Naval Research, provides students with the opportunity to learn about robotics, engineering, science, and mathematics (STEM) through the construction of an underwater ROV as part of a science and engineering technology curriculum. ORAU offered this program to teachers.

During the summer months, ORAU conducts a variety of free professional development workshops as part of its K-12 educator programs. The ORAU Center for Science Education offers educators the opportunity to participate in STEM programs that enhance classroom teaching and engage in hands-on activities that bolster their STEM curriculum.

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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