ORISE awards $25,000 to Mary Munford Elementary School teacher in CIA Mission Possible Classroom Transformation competition

July 30, 2021

RICHMOND, Va.—Crystal Clark, a fourth-grade teacher at Mary Munford Elementary School, can look forward to helping her students better learn about weather, computer coding, and video and audio production thanks to the Central Intelligence Agency. Clark 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 Clark with an oversized check for $25,000 during a surprise visit to Mary Munford Elementary School. Clark will be able to purchase new technology and reveal her newly outfitted classroom before the start of the school year.

In the winning video, Clark and a handful of her students gathered around a table to listen to a special message asking if they would accept the Mission Possible. They shared how new technology would improve and update their classroom with new equipment, Clark explained how she could better keep her students excited about science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics subjects.

Clark’s winning video can be found here: https://youtu.be/aHKofUNs2Tk

During the reveal, Jenifer Tyrell, ORISE senior K-12 program manager, expressed that there is no limit to education and what students can accomplish given the necessary resources, which is one reason the CIA sponsored the Mission Possible Classroom Transformation.

“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 Crystal Clark with the necessary materials to make STEAM learning an adventure for students.”

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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.