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OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU awarded 26 teachers from 12 East Tennessee schools almost $20,000 on Monday at the 17th 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.

“As a teacher, it means so much to have this grant program available each year. The fact that we walk out of this ceremony with our products in-hand takes away a lot of the headache involved in ordering items. It also allows our kids to begin using this technology immediately!”

- Grand Oaks Elementary School teacher Sally Sutt

“ORAU is happy to provide Anderson County educators with the needed resources and tools required to engage students of all ages in STEM subjects,” ORAU President and CEO Andy Page said. “These educators show such dedication to student success and advancement.”

Since beginning the Education Grant program in 2002, ORAU has provided more than $500,000 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 Willow Brook Elementary School and Anderson County Career and Technical Center.

Teachers from Willow Brook Elementary received $2,480 to purchase Lego sets, brick sets and books that will be used to help students better understand math concepts such as division, subtraction and fractions. The Brick Math sets help students to develop mental imagery, invented strategies and receive an in-depth math experience.

At Anderson County Career and Technical Center, teachers plan to use their $2,300 grant to expand the VEX Robotics program. Since ORAU awarded Norris Middle School with a VEX Robotics grant two years ago, Norris Middle students who have moved to Anderson County Career and Technical Center have competed in robotics competitions, placing in the top 10 teams in the state this year.

“As a teacher, it means so much to have this grant program available each year,” said Sally Sutt, grant winner and Grand Oaks Elementary School teacher. “The fact that we walk out of this ceremony with our products in-hand takes away a lot of the headache involved in ordering items. It also allows our kids to begin using this technology immediately!”

The awards, based on competitive proposals submitted by the individual schools, were presented by ORAU’s President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Page, Senior Vice President Dave Duncan and Executive Vice President Eric Abelquist in the Center for Science Education Classroom.

For more information about this and other ORAU-supported programs in education, visit the ORAU Community Involvement page.

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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