Offering STEM learning opportunities for teachers and students at every level

A STEM-capable workforce provides the U.S. with an enduring competitive advantage… As a nation, we must work together to ensure all segments of our population have access to affordable, high-quality education and training opportunities beginning as early as kindergarten and lasting well beyond graduation. Today’s workers need ‘on-ramps’ to develop the STEM expertise and other critical capabilities so they can adapt and thrive. —“Our Nation’s Future Competitiveness Relies on Building a STEM-Capable U.S. Workforce,” A Policy Companion Statement to Science and Engineering Indicators 2018, National Science Board

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 ORAU. 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.

For Teachers

Lesson Plans for Teachers
Explore various resources for curriculum-planning, including free lesson plans for teachers, that engage students in science.

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

Competitions for Educators
Teachers—Submit your lesson plans for a chance to win new tools and technology for your classroom!

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

For Students

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.

Competitions for Students
Students—Do you have a cool idea of how to incorporate technology into your learning? Participate in our competitions for a chance to win cool prizes!

Activities and Games
ORISE offers free online games for teachers to use in their classrooms to boost students’ interest and content-knowledge in STEM.

STEM Career Spotlights
Hear what a few scientists—from students to advanced researchers—say about how a focus in STEM has made a difference in their career.

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.