Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Media Relations (news@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Teachers again participate in Elementary Science Leadership Institute

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 8, 1995 — Twenty-two elementary teachers from East Tennessee will be participating again this summer in the third Elementary Science Leadership Institute.

The institute, co-sponsored by the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Science Foundation, allows these teachers to explore science content and the art of teaching science as it relates to students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The 1995 theme involves integrating math and science. The 22 teachers entered the program two years ago. The first year concentrated on the study of physical and earth and space sciences. The 1994 theme focused on environmental and life science topics.

"Our goal this summer is to take math and science and see how they fit together," said Bill Brown, program coordinator. "We want to focus on mathematics as it relates to science."

Brown said the program is part of an effort by science educators to reform science education in order for young students to have a more practical use for it.

"We want our elementary-age students to learn what science does," Brown said. "The best way for us to get students to understand this is to have their teachers go through the same experience."

Brown said science and math education is moving in the direction of adopting national standards as a way to allow students to become more competitive internationally in the two disciplines.

"The key is to emphasize this on the elementary level," Brown said. "This is the age group we must focus on if we're going to move in this direction."

The 22 teachers, who stay in touch year-round to discuss what they have learned and share it with their colleagues, meet six hours a day over a 20-day period. Classes meet at Oak Ridge's Willow Brook Elementary School, but a number of activities will take place at ORNL facilities.

"We give these teachers much in the way of hands-on experience," Brown said. "We want them to share what they learn with other teachers. Through workshops these teachers have held during the entire year, our program has reached 1,100 teachers in East Tennessee."

ORNL is one of the first national laboratories to become involved with this program. Brown noted ORNL's experience has been shared with other national labs. Several of them will be starting similar programs this summer. Brown said the labs provide a strong setting for such education efforts.

"They provide the experience of how science really operates," Brown said.

Teachers are paid a stipend for their work. This year's program will run July 6-28.

Teachers participating in the program include: .

Anderson County: Joyce Beets and Kristin Wrisberg, Dutch Valley; Rebecca Henegar, and Nancy Waddle, Norwood.

Oak Ridge: Hugh Russell, Willow Brook.

Jefferson County: Marilyn Barr, Susan Brown, Martha Pethel and Theresa Potts, Jefferson.

Morgan County: Andrea Bingham, Nancy Gunter and Lucy Marie Stewart, Wartburg Central.

Knox County: Shirley Sung Davis, Farragut Intermediate; Kathy Farr, Bonny Kate, Sheila McCoy, Cedar Bluff Intermediate; Marilyn Williams, Eastport; and Monty Howell, Knox County Schools.

Roane County: Beth Fenner, Midway; Debbie Plemons and Debby Williams, Kingston.

Oneida Special School District: Donna Stephens, Oneida.

Chattanooga: Sheree Wheat, East Side Elementary and the University of Tennessee's Challenger Center.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, which also manages the Oak Ridge K-25 Site and the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant.