The idea that technology has the ability to drastically change students’ lives was the focus of one regional middle school teacher’s video submission for the 2015 ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover competition. His dream of satisfying students’ hunger for technology in the classroom was realized Thursday as ORAU President Andy Page presented Brown Intermediate School science teacher Charlie Arp with a $25,000 technology makeover during a surprise school-wide assembly.
The funding is part of ORAU’s annual Extreme Classroom Makeover competition, now in its seventh year.
In his winning video Arp, explains that when it comes to teaching with technology, the sky is the limit. He describes many new and interactive approaches to teaching math and science, and he insists that, with this grant, he can satisfy his students’ hunger for technology in their day-to-day learning environment. Brown Intermediate School serves students from the city of Sweetwater in the fifth and sixth grades.
ORAU’s Extreme Classroom Makeover highlights and supports educators like Arp who are working on the front lines of the education system and illustrates how technology in the classroom helps teachers inspire more students to pursue math- and science-based careers.
“An educational focus on science, technology, engineering, and math is important for strengthening our nation’s competitiveness,” Page said. “ORAU believes that through programs like the Extreme Classroom Makeover, we can help teachers inspire students in these critical STEM subjects.”
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.
Arp’s spring and early summer will focus on the selection, purchase, and installation of new technology to make over his classroom. Before students return to the classroom in August, ORAU will unveil the redesigned classroom in a special event for the students and their parents.
Previous Extreme Classroom Makeover winners include:
- Susan Silvey, Lake City Middle School in Lake City, 2014
- Karla Fultz, A.L. Lotts Elementary School in Knoxville, 2013
- Heather Burkhart, Pigeon Forge Middle School in Pigeon Forge, 2012
- Herman Sutton, Green Magnet Math and Science Academy in Knoxville, 2011
- Jordan Haney, Rocky Hill Elementary School in Knoxville, 2010
- Jenny Alvey, Gresham Middle School in Knoxville, 2009
Winners have typically purchased items such as additional computers, iPads, digital cameras, an interactive student voting system, television, promethean boards, and other technology that helped advance his or her students’ learning activities.
View the winning video for the Extreme Classroom Makeover competition at http://www.orau.org/media-center/news-releases/2015/fy15-27-extreme-classroom-makeover-winner-2015.aspx.
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). Learn more about ORAU at www.orau.org.