August 3, 2021
BALTIMORE, Md.—Jenna Porter, a visual arts and photography teacher at Roland Park Elementary and Middle School, can look forward to helping her students better show off their creativity and artistic skills thanks to the Central Intelligence Agency. Porter was the winner of the inaugural CIA Mission Possible Classroom Transformation competition and a $25,000 grand prize with which she can purchase new technology for her classroom.
The CIA sponsors CIA Mission Possible Classroom Transformation competition to promote learning in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) fields. The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education manages the program.
Teachers who applied for the grant were asked to submit a video that creatively portrayed their need for technology in the classroom and how this technology would improve the educational experience of their students.
Representatives from ORISE presented Porter with an oversized check for $25,000 during a surprise visit to Roland Park Elementary and Middle School. Porter will be able to purchase cameras and other technology and reveal her newly outfitted classroom before the start of the school year.
In the winning video, Porter demonstrated the beautiful artwork her students have created using mobile devices and pondered what they could do if they had access to digital cameras and editing software.
During the reveal, Kate Shattuck, ORISE event planner project manager, expressed that there is no limit to education and what students can accomplish given the necessary resources.
“As education standards continue to evolve, teachers at every school need to have the tools and technology available to help their classrooms evolve as well,” Shattuck said. “Through programs like the CIA Mission Possible Classroom Transformation, we can help provide standout teachers like Jenna Porter with the necessary materials to make STEAM learning an adventure for students.”
Eugene Chase, a tenth-grade computer science teacher at Digital Harbor High School, was named runner-up in the competition and received $5,000 for new classroom technology.
Contestants entering the CIA Mission Possible Classroom Transformation were required to teach a STEAM subject in grades 3-10 in a Baltimore public school. Teachers were required to submit a short video illustrating the classroom’s need and explain how the new technologies would be used to energize and enhance learning.
Read more about CIA Mission Possible Classroom Transformation.
The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset that is dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure and environmental contamination.
ORISE is managed by ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, for DOE’s Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.osti.gov.