A fifth-grade math and science teacher at A.L. Lotts Elementary School in Knox County has won $25,000 in an Extreme Classroom Makeover competition sponsored by Oak Ridge Associated Universities.
It was the third time teacher Karla Fultz has submitted a video for the annual contest, which is now in its fifth year.
A press release said her winning video was a parody of “Gangman Style,” the Korean pop song and video that has been watched more than one billion times online.
“Fultz and her students creatively show the positive impact technology, such as iPads and laptops, would have on their ability to learn and retain information in their daily school work,” the press release said.
The next steps for the school include the selection, purchase, and installation of new technology to make over the classroom. Later in the summer, ORAU will unveil the redesigned classroom in a special event to the students and their parents.
ORAU will follow Fultz’s class during the 2013-2014 academic school year to track how she is using the technology, the release said. Fultz and her students will be encouraged to blog about the experience and share their learning experiences with others.
ORAU said its Extreme Classroom Makeover “highlights and supports educators like Fultz who are working on the front lines of the education system,” and it shows how technology in the classroom helps teachers inspire more students to pursue math- and science-based careers.
“Science and math are two important factors that help form the foundation of innovation,” said Andy Page, ORAU president and chief executive officer. “ORAU believes through programs like the Extreme Classroom Makeover, we can bring excitement to teachers and students on critical STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects, which in turn, can help strengthen our nation’s future competitiveness.”
Contestants entering ORAU’s competition must teach math or science in 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.
Last year’s grand prize winner was Heather Burkhart, a teacher at Pigeon Forge Elementary School in Pigeon Forge. Previous winners also include Herman Sutton from Green Magnet Math and Science Academy, Rocky Hill Elementary School’s Jordan Haney, and Jenny Alvey from Gresham Middle School. Winners have typically purchased items such as additional computers, iPads, digital cameras, a clicker system, television, promethean boards and other technology that helped advance his students’ learning activities.