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ORAU and its Partners Promote STEM Education through Siemens Teachers as Researchers

STARs program places middle and high school teachers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to enhance class curriculum

Teachers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Recognizing the need of students at all levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) supports the national commitment to improve STEM education, research, and innovation by providing a single resource for developing and administering high-quality, experience-based programs. Through ORAU’s university consortium and its strong partnerships with the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), educators and their students are able to connect with the best and the brightest in the scientific community.

It is that same commitment to creating ‘partnerships for innovation’ that has led to the current affiliation between Siemens Foundation and ORAU. Together, the two organizations, along with Discovery Education and the College Board, have launched a nationwide, professional development program hosting 20 middle school and high school science and math teachers for short-term research experiences at ORNL. Referred to as the Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs) program, teachers participate in ongoing research at the national lab and then take those experiences and incorporate it into their classroom curricula.

Partnering with the Siemens Foundation has been critical to further expanding the offerings available to STEM educators and their students. While many schools continue to face possible job and program cuts resulting from a struggling economy, ORAU and many other partners of the Siemens Foundation are going the extra mile to pay it forward, ensuring these teachers continue to have professional development opportunities. Partnerships and opportunities like the STARs program are truly fundamental to enriching the education of the next generation of science and technology leaders.

The STARs program was discontinued in 2015.