Offering STEM learning opportunities for teachers and students at every level

“New technologies and STEM knowledge lie at the core of our ability to manufacture better, smarter products, improve health care, preserve the environment and safeguard national security. Individuals prepared with the skills and knowledge to invent, build, install and operate those new technologies are essential.” —from the White House Federal STEM Education Five-Year Strategic Plan

With the belief that the key to innovation and economic growth is science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM), the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is committed to science education for students and places a high value on equipping elementary, middle and high school teachers with tools and experiences to enhance their classroom instruction.

Recognizing that it is never too early to excite students about science education, ORISE offers a variety of STEM education opportunities for both students and the teachers who will be inspiring them. As more teachers are able to connect authentic research with classroom curricula, the more likely students will pursue careers within the scientific workforce.

ORISE partners with the U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agencies to help strengthen America’s educational competitiveness by:

  • Providing students and teachers opportunities to experience scientific research being conducted at U.S. national laboratories, such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and research centers across the country
  • Offering professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers to participate in research demonstrations, discover new trends in STEM education, and collaborate with other educators to share ideas on how to improve science and technology education
  • Developing summer learning programs for teachers and students to participate in learning opportunities that encourage teamwork, problem-solving and demonstration that enhance the study of the STEM disciplines
  • Serving as a resource center featuring proven products, services, and programs that can help make K-12 STEM education more effective

Most ORISE K-12 STEM education opportunities are offered through the ORAU Center for Science Education. During the summer months, ORAU offers a variety of programs to provide K-12 teachers, as well as middle and high school students, opportunities to engage in hands-on activities that broaden their interest and knowledge in STEM education.

Programs and Summer Camps
During the summer months, a variety of exciting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) camps and academies are available for K-12 to engage in hands-on activities that broaden their STEM education foundation.

Tennessee Science Bowl
Students participate in this annual competition sponsored by DOE’s Oak Ridge Office and other local entities, including ORISE. The winning team earns the opportunity to compete in the DOE National Science Bowl® in Washington, D.C.

The National Science Bowl® is a nationwide academic competition that tests students’ knowledge in a wide range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy, and math. The most recent National Science Bowl involved more than 13,000 students and is the only science competition in the United States sponsored by a federal agency. 

Curriculum for the Classroom
Explore various resources for curriculum-planning, including lesson plans, activities and videos that engage students in science.

Teacher and Professional Development
Summer education workshops and teacher professional development programs help educators inspire their students in the STEM disciplines.

Teaching and Learning Websites
Looking for STEM education resources? ORISE has compiled a collection of STEM resources to help students embrace science education.