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K-12 Students and Teachers Opportunities at ORNL

Young students with science teacher

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s K-12 education programs help foster an early interest in science by providing scholarly competitions, summer education workshops, science camps, and various research participation opportunities. All of the programs involving students under the age of 18 have been moved to the K-12 Education Programs. The K-12 programs at ORNL include the following:

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)/Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) High School Summer Math Science Technology Institute has occurred annually at ORNL for many years. The ARC/ORNL Summer Institute is a two-week program that provides a short-term, hands-on research experience for small groups of high school students and STEM teachers from the 13-state Appalachian Region. The students and teachers are nominated by State ARC representatives and selected by the Appalachian Regional Commission. ORNL mentors are invited to work with either a team of teachers or a team of students on a short-term, hands-on project that provides opportunities for the participants to be engaged in current projects at ORNL. The program highlights the critical value of ORNL and its science resources that are available to the Appalachian Region.

The High School Research Experience program permits students who are U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) to participate in internships at ORNL.  In addition, students must be selected by the respective high school program coordinators, through one of the following programs, to be eligible for participation.

  • Oak Ridge High School (ORHS)
    • SECME – students are placed at ORNL for a 10-week paid summer internship. ORAU is responsible for finding mentors for the selected students and the selected students are paid by ORNL.
    • Cooperative Program – is for students in the ORHS Oak Ridge Business and Information Technology (ORBIT) Academy. This is a paid summer and academic year co-op position at ORNL. ORHS initiates contact with mentors.
    • Math Thesis – students are placed with a mentor at ORNL for a one-year unpaid internship.
  • Hardin Valley Academy (HVA) – students must be a member of the Senior Portfolio Program.  Internships are unpaid and HVA and the student initiate contact with mentors.
  • Farragut High School (FHS) – students must be a member of the Math or Science Academy.  Internships are unpaid and FHS and the student initiate contact with mentors.
  • L&N STEM Academy – students must be part of the senior capstone project.  Internships are unpaid and L&N STEM Academy and the student initiate contact with mentors.

Higher Education Research Experiences (HERE) – College Entering Freshman
Are you a graduating senior looking to jump-start your scientific and technical career with summer experience? The HERE program is open to U.S. Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) who will be at least 18 years of age by the start of appointment and have a minimum GPA of 2.5/4.0. Entering freshmen must graduate from a U.S. accredited high school in the 12 months preceding the summer appointment and be accepted at a U.S. accredited college or university following appointment. Applications will open each year on October 2 and will close on July 1; however, applications should be submitted by February 1 for the best chance of selection.

K-12 Research Program Contact Information

For the ARC/ORNL Summer Math Science Technology Institute, please contact:
Marie Westfall
(865) 576-3425

For all other K-12 programs, please contact:
Julie Malicoat
(865) 576-2311

For the HERE - College Entering Freshman Program, please contact:
Leslie Fox
(865) 576-3427