Teacher Professional Development ORISE workshops equip teachers with innovations to inspire STEM learning

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education offers a variety of STEM opportunities to equip educators with valuable STEM skills and learning experiences. Our K-12 teacher programs allow educators to research alongside our nation’s leading scientists, explore STEM curriculum resources, and strengthen their classroom instruction.

ORISE provides professional development for teachers who will educate the next generation of STEM leaders. STEM teachers from kindergarten through high school, and others interested in the STEM fields, can choose from a number of professional development opportunities that aim to help educators engage their students across a number of STEM disciplines.


Design Thinking Basics (Virtual Session)

Target Audience: K-12th Grade Teachers

Wednesday, June 12

9:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

Presenter: Emily Butterfield, Teacher, Bearden Middle School, Knoxville, TN

In this session, you will learn the basics of the Design Thinking Process and how to apply it in your classroom instruction. Design Thinking teaches innovative problem solving through questioning, feedback, and multiple iterations.

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Give Artificial Intelligence a Try (Virtual Session)

Target Audience: 4th-12th Grade Teachers

Friday, June 14

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Presenter: Lauren Wilmoth, Teacher, Oak Ridge High School, Oak Ridge, TN

Most of us, including our students, interact daily with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology without recognizing it. From Netflix recommendations and targeted ads to email filters and Google navigation, AI has become an integral part of our lives. In this professional development, we will explore fun, interactive ways to introduce and define AI technology with students. AI can contain bias and can be used for good or evil. By discussing these issues with students, we will be able to improve their digital literacy and develop the critical thinking skills necessary for navigating through the wealth of information available to them online. No experience or knowledge of AI is necessary for this training.  

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Digital Breakouts (Virtual Session)

Target Audience: STEM/Technology K-12th Grade Teachers

Tuesday, June 18

9:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

Presenter: Emily Butterfield, Teacher, Bearden Middle School, Knoxville, TN

Digital Breakouts are a fun way to gamify learning! In this session you will learn how to create easy and engaging digital breakouts using Google Forms and Genially that you can use in your in-person or virtual classes for review, practice, and remediation.

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ORISE Competitions (Virtual Session)

Target audience: K-12th Grade Teachers

Monday, June 24

9:00 am - 11:00 am EDT

Presenter: Emily Butterfield, Teacher, Bearden Middle School, Knoxville, TN

This session will serve as an introduction to the ORISE student and teacher competitions that are available free on the website. Student competitions can be utilized as a class activity or extension opportunity. Join me to learn how to maximize this resource to your benefit. You'll walk away with tips and tricks for helping yourself and your students win amazing prizes!

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Intro to Coding and STEM Kits (In-person session)

Target Audience: K-8th Grade Teachers

Thursday, June 27

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Instructor: Sherilyn Dawson, M.S. Curriculum and Instruction Civil Air Patrol

Don’t be intimidated…no prior experience needed! What is artificial Intelligence? Get your feet wet- with Code.org. Learn what resources are available to educators from Civil Air Patrol. Aerospace Education members of Civil Air Patrol are eligible to receive STEM kits and online curriculum resources at no cost. End the day with hands on activities with Bee Bots and Probots.

A door prize will be awarded at this in-person session.

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Online professional development courses

These courses are self-guided, autonomous, and asynchronous. There are no discussion boards, presenter to ask questions, or anyone actively monitoring your progress. The courses are designed to take up to four hours to complete. It is up to you to go through the material, complete the assignments, and take whatever you can from these courses! Everyone has a different combination of content, context, and student needs that will determine what you take away from these courses. Upon completion of all requirements, you will be able to download a certificate that certifies your completion of the professional development.

Applying Real-World Data in the Classroom with CEDR is an online professional development course with the purpose of providing middle and high school teachers with the skills and knowledge to utilize data sets from the Comprehensive Epidemiologic Data Resource (CEDR) in their classrooms. CEDR is the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) electronic database comprised of health studies of DOE contract workers and environmental studies of areas surrounding DOE facilities. The data are free to use in your classroom! The lesson plan provided in the course integrates math, biology, American history, and English while using health data from actual workers in Oak Ridge, TN to teach the standards.

Developing Your Students’ Data Literacy Skills is an online professional development with the purpose of supporting and equipping teachers of middle and high school students. The purpose of this course is to help you identify and incorporate opportunities for your students to practice and hone their data skills. Collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data are key scientific practices that also translate easily into the real world. This course offers methods of data incorporation, outside of actual investigations, that can be utilized quickly and consistently.

Incorporating Inquiry into Your Classroom is an online professional development with the purpose of supporting and equipping teachers to be able to provide authentic exploration to their students. The purpose of this course is to help you incorporate inquiry into your classroom without rewriting your entire curriculum.

Joint Science and Technology Institute West

The Joint Science and Technology Institute West is a two-week, fully-funded, residential STEM research experience for current high school students in the United States. Participants will engage in research projects mentored by Department of Defense, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratory research scientists and other subject matter experts. The purpose of the institute is to inspire and encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, increase STEM literacy, and expose students to the importance of STEM through hands-on, relevant research.

Learn more about JSTI West

Teachers participate in a team-building activity during the Joint Science and Technology Institute, Aberdeen Proving Ground

Joint Science and Technology Institute East

The Joint Science and Technology Institute (JSTI) is a two-week residential program at Aberdeen Proving Ground (Md.) for current high school teachers exposing them to scientific research through hands-on projects. This program enables educators to work with real-world scientists and increase student awareness of career opportunities in STEM-related fields.

Learn more about JSTI East

K-12 teachers selected as Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows gathered at the Albert Einstein statue

Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to serve in the national education arena. Fellows spend 11 months working in federal agencies or in U.S. Congressional offices, applying their extensive knowledge and classroom experiences to national education program and/or education policy efforts.

Learn more about Albert Einstein Fellowship