Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Barbara Penland (penlandb@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORAU and ORNL Partnering with Siemens Foundation, College Board and Discovery Education to Host 'Siemens Teachers as Researchers' Program

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 12, 2010 — OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) is partnering with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Siemens Foundation, College Board and Discovery Education, a division of Discovery Communications, LLC, to collaborate on a special program as part of new, nationwide education initiative that supports the Obama Administration's call to advance science literacy among American students. The program, called Siemens Teachers as Researchers (STARs), is a two-week, residential professional development program that will host 20 middle school and high school science and math teachers for short-term research experiences at ORNL. Applications to participate are being accepted now through March 1 and can be found at www.siemensstemacademy.com.

The partners met in January at ORAU's Center for Science Education to plan the first-year pilot program scheduled to occur later this summer. STARs participants will spend most of their time at the lab conducting research, participating in facility tours, and attending scientific seminars given by ORNL researchers. Participants will also engage in a number of workshops at ORAU's Center for Science Education classroom with topics focused on classroom technologies, how to integrate scientific research into the classroom, and sharing lesson plans and best practices.

"Advancing science and education has long been the mission of ORAU, and providing teachers with the tools and experiences to enhance instructional methods for the STEM disciplines will go a long way toward enriching the education of the next generation of scientists and engineers," said ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. "Partnerships and programs like these are fundamental to making that mission a reality."

"Making available some of the world's best scientific facilities is one of the things we can do to inspire teachers and students," said Thom Mason, ORNL director. "Working with the Siemens' Foundation is a perfect way to introduce teachers to some of the most exciting research in the scientific community."

The STARs program is part of a larger initiative called The Siemens STEM Academy, designed to advance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the U.S. by engaging educators from across the country through hands-on and multimedia professional development opportunities that will ultimately improve STEM education for students nationwide. In addition to the STARs program, this larger initiative will also include a Siemens STEM Academy Institute, a STEM Academy Online Portal, and a "Brains of Science Connect" Webinar Series, all designed to give educators across the country an opportunity to connect with each other, share resources, and interact with today's eminent scientists.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities [link to: www.orau.org] is a university consortium leveraging the scientific strength of 98 major research institutions to advance science and education by partnering with national laboratories, government agencies, and private industry. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory [link to: www.ornl.gov] is a multi-purpose science and energy laboratory managed by UT-Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The Siemens Foundation [link to: www.siemens-foundation.org] provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in the United States. Its signature programs include the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, and The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, which encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues. The Foundation's mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens' U.S. companies and its parent company, Siemens AG.

Discovery Communications revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education [link to: www.discoveryeducation.com ]. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standardsbased digital media and a dynamic user community to empower teachers to improve student achievement.