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ORAU and Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge join forces for K-12 STEM education programming

MOU allows both organizations to work together to enhance STEM education offerings for students in Anderson County and beyond

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Two of the region’s biggest forces in children’s education are collaborating to offer innovative STEM learning experiences for early childhood and K-12 students.

ORAU and the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge have signed a memorandum of understanding that allows both organizations to work together to enhance STEM education offerings for students in Anderson County and beyond.

ORAU and Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge join forces for K-12 STEM education programming

Eric Abelquist, ORAU executive vice president, and Tom Beehan, president of the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge Board of Trustees, signed a memorandum of understanding that allows both organizations to work together to enhance STEM education offerings for students in Anderson County and beyond.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday, Dec. 4. To celebrate, ORAU educators led a robot programming class for third- and fourth-graders in CMOR’s after school program.   

“This is really a perfect combination of organizations,” said Craig Layman, ORAU associate director of workforce development. “The more ways and the earlier we can get children interested and excited about STEM topics, the better off we are. Today’s children are tomorrow’s scientists, and we need to do everything we can help them get there.”

ORAU has been leading the way in STEM education for more than 70 years, and the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge has a 45-year track record of bringing children and their families together to enjoy its hands-on exhibits and education programs.

“The strengths of ORAU and CMOR are very complementary. Together, we will be able to offer exciting STEM programs for children of all ages.” Tom Beehan, president of the CMOR Board of Trustees, said. CMOR’s Executive Director Beth Shea agreed. “As someone with formal training in science education, I am especially excited about this opportunity for our museum educators to work with ORAU. We look forward to serving as a center for informal science education in conjunction with ORAU’s K-12 resources.”

Specific programs will be announced at a later date, but some examples of potential programs for ORAU and CMOR include:

  • Early childhood and elementary (K-4 or 5) programs
  • Meet a Scientist programs
  • Chemistry magic shows
  • Math and Movement Academy
  • Science education programs in conjunction with other community organizations

CMOR’s mission is to provide fun and diverse educational programs and exhibits emphasizing play and hands-on learning for all ages in arts, science, history, culture, and healthy living, while collecting and preserving objects in a historic Manhattan Project Community. To learn more about CMOR, visit www.childrensmuseumofoakridge.org.

Elementary school students code robots to celebrate Computer Science Education Week

Elementary school students code robots to celebrate Computer Science Education Week

WVLT stopped by our Probot coding class at the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge where fourth and fifth graders coded robots in celebratation of Computer Science Education Week. Jennifer Tyrell, ORAU K-12 STEM program manager, was live on air showing off some of the fun.

Watch the Video

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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