High School STEAM

Courtesy Photo: Orise

Imagine the incredible experience a teacher could provide to students with virtual reality headsets, digital microscopes, robotics equipment, and $25,000 in new technology.

“It is a dream come true,” said Jennifer Tyrell, senior project manager for Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), which is managing CIA Mission Possible-Classroom Transformation for K-12 students.

ORISE is a U.S. Department of Energy asset dedicated to enabling critical scientific, research, and health initiatives of the department and its laboratory system by providing world-class expertise in STEM workforce development, scientific and technical reviews, and the evaluation of radiation exposure environmental contamination.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the sponsor of the new program. Teachers in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, can win $25,000 to upgrade the technology in their classrooms.

The CIA Mission Possible-Classroom Transformation competition seeks to improve Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) education in public schools. The competition will award one STEAM teacher each in those cities with $25,000 in new equipment to update their classrooms with the latest technology. Runners-up in each city will receive $5,000 in new equipment.

“Most children today are digital natives, seemingly born with smartphones or tablets in hand,” Terrell continued. “Still, some schools do not have the budgets to keep pace with changing technology. Having $25,000 worth of interactive technology would give a boost to any student trying to learn STEAM in today’s world.”

Interested teachers need to act fast. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 9, 2021. Terrell said winners would be notified by the end of July, and the technology will be purchased and installed in their classrooms for the start of the 2021-2022 school year.

To be eligible for the competition, teachers must:

• Teach a STEAM subject for 3rd through 10th grade.

• Work for a public school in Baltimore, Md., Washington, D.C., or Richmond, Va.

•Submit a three-to-four-minute video creatively illustrating the need and possible uses of technology in their classroom.

•Additional information, including the application and video submission portal, can be found here: https://orise.orau.gov/cia-mission-possible/.

The deadline to apply is Friday, July 9, 2021. A panel of educators and ORISE staff will determine the winning classroom for each city. Entries will be judged on how well they:

•Demonstrate or explain the need for technology.

•Demonstrate or explain the possible use of technology.

•Demonstrate overall creativity in the entry.

•Provide an explanation of the teaching philosophy and/or approach that will be used to expand the STEAM learning experience and encourage students to pursue careers in STEAM fields.

For more information, visit https://orise.orau.gov/cia-mission-possible/.