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ORAU awards two teachers with $5,000 Extreme Classroom Makeover grants

Knox County's Shannondale Elementary and Roane County's Oliver Springs Middle announced as runners-up in the ORAU competition during surprise classroom visits

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Students and teachers at two area schools were surprised by ORAU, which made visits to the schools and presented each a $5,000 grant as runners-up in the 2017 ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover competition.

2017 Extreme Classroom Makeover Contest Runner-Up teacher April Lamb and students

April Lamb and her students at Shannondale Elementary School


April Lamb (pictured above with students), a STEM teacher at Shannondale Elementary School in Knox County, and Donna Widner (pictured below with students), a math teacher at Oliver Springs Middle School in Roane County, will use the grants to outfit their classrooms with new technology.

Contestants entering ORAU's competition must teach math or science for third through eleventh grades and work for a public school located within 50 miles of Oak Ridge. Additionally, a 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.

Donna Widner and her students at Oliver Springs Middle School celebrate being named 2017 Extreme Classroom Makeover Contest runner-up

Donna Widner and her students at Oliver Springs Middle School.


Earlier this week, ORAU announced Kyle Roach of Rutledge Middle School in Grainger County as the 2017 ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover grand-prize winner. Roach received a $25,000 grant to use toward the purchase of technology for his classroom.

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 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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