Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 

News Release

Media Contact: Mike Bradley ()
Communications and External Relations

 

UT-Battelle supports Nine Counties. One Vision. goals

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., June 9, 2004 — UT-Battelle has donated $150,000 in support of the Nine Counties. One Vision. recommendation to help improve the region's science education.

The gift will fund a University of Tennessee science education workshop July 13-23 for 40 middle school teachers from the nine Knox-area counties.

The grant is part of UT-Battelle's commitment to the Nine Counties. One Vision. regional planning initiative, which cites improvement in science education as critical to East Tennessee's future growth. "Improving science education is a natural goal for UT-Battelle and Oak Ridge National Laboratory," said Brenda Hackworth, manager of ORNL's community outreach efforts. "Helping teachers hone their science education skills is one way to boost science education in the region."

Nine Counties. One Vision. was launched in January 2000 to spur economic, environmental and social progress in the nine-county region. It is run by a steering committee of about 80 regional residents and a 21-member Board of Directors.

"Science education helps students succeed in college and get better jobs; spurs new technologies; and creates a skilled workforce that attracts more businesses," said Lynne Lawson Fugate, the organization's executive director.

Teachers from Anderson, Blount, Knox, Grainger, Jefferson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier and Union counties are scheduled to attend the UT workshops at Knoxville's West Valley Middle School.

The teachers, nominated by their school principals, will hear science lectures from UT faculty, develop lesson plans, and take what they learn back to students.

"Our goal is to increase teachers' knowledge and understanding of science and enhance their ability to teach science," said Lynn Champion, who directs the UT collaborative. "We have been successful, thanks to the collaboration between the colleges, faculty, local schools, and UT-Battelle."

The teachers also earn three graduate credit hours in Physics 594 at UT upon completing the workshop, Champion said.

Stuart Elston, UT physics professor, and Kristin Rearden, UT assistant professor in teacher education, are lead faculty and primary instructors.

The workshops are part of UT's Collaborative for Enhancing Education in Mathematics and Science created by the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.