A $30,000 grant from a federal contractor in Oak Ridge filled a Pigeon Forge classroom with new technology this summer.
Heather Burkhart,Â a fifth-grade math and science teacher at Pigeon Forge Middle School, received the grant fromÂ Oak Ridge Associated Universities in that nonprofit’s fourth annual Extreme Classroom Makeover competition.
- testing their knowledge of technology history
- racing to complete multiplication tables
- exploring Burkhartâ€™s virtual classroom
- flipping through interactive books in the virtual library.
The release said Burkhart spent the summer selecting her new technology, installing it in her classroom, and preparing for her new class of rising fifth-graders.
â€œThe limitless possibilities for using this technology in my classroom are incredibly exciting,â€ Burkhart said. â€œThanks to ORAU, and with the extensive research I completed over the summer, I will be able to open a whole new world of math and science to my students, which will help them to become more enthusiastic about learning.â€
Contest winners inÂ earlier years include Herman Sutton, a fifth-grade math teacher at Green Magnet Math and Science Academy; Jordan Haney, a fifth-grade teacher at Rocky Hill Elementary School; and Jenny Alvey, a sixth-grade science teacher from Gresham Middle School.
Contestants entering ORAUâ€™s competition were required to teach fifth- to eighth-grade math or science for and work for a public school located within 50 miles of Oak Ridge. Additionally, each teacher submitted a short video illustrating the classroomâ€™s need and explaining how the new technologies would be “used to energize and enhance learning.” To view Mrs. Burkhartâ€™s winning video, go to http://www.orau.org/center-for-science-education/classroom-makeover/2012/videos.aspx.
Another ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover contest will take place in 2013, and â€œIntents to Applyâ€ have been accepted since Aug. 8. Visit www.orau.org for more information.
ORAU is a university consortium that manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.