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OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU awarded 38 teachers from 14 East Tennessee schools more than $36,000 on Monday at the 16th annual ORAU Education Grants ceremony.

Educational materials and equipment purchased with the grant monies—such as iPads, computer software, robotics kits and more—will help teachers continue to meet state-wide curriculum standards and enhance the learning experience of their students in STEM subjects.

“ORAU is proud to support schools in Anderson County by helping local educators obtain the resources and tools required to engage students of all ages in STEM subjects while enriching their education,” ORAU President and CEO Andy Page said. “These educators never fail to demonstrate their dedication to student success.”

Since beginning the Education Grant program in 2002, ORAU has provided more than $487,000 to area schools to fund educational projects that complement its mission of enriching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs.

The two largest grants were given to South Clinton Elementary School and North Clinton Elementary School, which each received nearly $4,900.

Teachers from South Clinton Elementary received funds to purchase 10 climate and weather kits, a wireless weather and moon forecast station, a star theater home planetarium and other types of weather measurement tools to provide sixth grade students with a hands-on meteorology experience. Other teachers received five Jimu Robot kits with iPads that will allow students to build and program their own robots; a Logitech webcam that can help teachers incorporate physical activity into a special education curriculum; and a Panasonic high definition camcorder with accessories to create a reading video camera space in the library where students can record their readings, act out stories for reader’s theater, review books and share mini lessons with their classmates.

At North Clinton Elementary, teachers plan to use their $4,870 grant to enhance the STEM curriculum with interactive lessons that involve technology and movement. With these funds, the library will now be equipped with STEM science kits, new sets of Super Simple Science books and four iPads to provide all students with supplemental learning technology that is easily available outside of the classroom. Students from kindergarten to second grade will learn math concepts through physical activity with Math and Movement mats being added to classrooms; and pre-kindergarten students are receiving a Kaplan STEM Activity Set Classroom Bundle and a hands-on magnet set to improve developmental STEM skills.

“We’re so excited about our Mobile Maker Station Lab,” said Kelly Raye Williams, a librarian at Lake City Elementary School who received $1,400 to provide students with STEM materials outside of the classroom. “It’s something that I can put in students’ hands that I know they would never have the opportunity to have at home, so this just opens new doors for them, which is wonderful. The teachers are so appreciative of everything ORAU does for us.”

The other grant winners were:

  • Anderson County Career and Technical Center — 10 Texas Instrument TI-83PLUS Graphing Calculators to be used by at-risk students outside of the classroom, and a five-year website license to Personal Finance Simulation Software for students to study finance with real-life situations ($2,880 value).
  • Anderson County High School — Two safety cabinets to store potentially hazardous materials in the chemical storage room, which will help accomplish the Chemistry/Biology Safety Project ($1,300 value).
  • Claxton Elementary School — Four Ozobot 2.0 Dual Packs with accessories, two LittleBits STEAM Student Sets, two ZOOM Builders and 36 Sterilite storage containers to create a summer STEM lab that will help students stay involved with math and science in between school years ($1,435 value).
  • Clinton Elementary School — Four Osmo Explorer Kits that kindergarteners will use with iPads to practice spatial awareness; more than 45 STEM literacy books; and four Lego Mindstorms Programmable Robots with iPads for sixth graders ($4,285 value).
  • Clinton Middle School — A three-year digital math subscription to the online practice tool IXL and more than 50 different kinds of measuring tools to help students visualize math concepts in the classroom ($4,100 value).
  • Clinton High School — One safety locking cabinet, one nitrile gloves case, 35 safety glasses to improve safety practices in the biology lab; and three sets of extra-large specimen kits to be used during biology lessons ($2,330 value).
  • Dutch Valley Elementary School — Learning support materials for STEM Bins, such as STEM challenge books and flashcards, and six National Geographic Learning Exploring Science Investigation Kits with 60 subscriptions to the National Geographic Explorer Magazine to inspire STEM exploration ($1,865 value).
  • Fairview Elementary School — Math and Movement materials to implement physical education into first grade and younger math curriculums ($3,000 value).
  • Linden Elementary School — Five iPad-9.7 with cases, three BreakoutEDU Kits and 3 Doodle Start Full Bundles to reinforce critical thinking skills ($1,600 value).
  • Lake City Elementary School — Six Pebble Go databases and three Pebble Next databases to encourage student STEM research, and $1,400 to supply a Mobile Maker Station Lab with 3-D puzzles, LittleBits stations, electric circuits and coding games ($2,760 value).
  • Lake City Middle School — 10 copies of the book, Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert to integrate STEM subjects with English classes ($200 value).
  • Norris Middle School — One Muslin Chromakey Green Screen Background Support Stand Kit with six Lego sets and a LimoStudio Photo Video Chromakey Green Suit for an interactive video makerspace in the library called the “Storyspace” ($520 value).

The awards, based on competitive proposals submitted by the individual schools, were presented by ORAU’s Senior Vice President Dave Duncan, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Phil Andrews and Executive Vice President Eric Abelquist in the Pollard Technology Conference Center.

About ORAU

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 150 colleges and universities, 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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