Skip to main content

Extreme Classroom Makeover

Teachers, what would you do with $25,000 in technology upgrades?

ORAU’s Extreme Classroom Makeover hopes to answer that question for a deserving public school teacher within a 50-mile radius of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

2024 competition is now open!

Submit your application

The mission of Extreme Classroom Makeover is to improve STEM education in public schools. The competition awards one 3rd through 10th grade math or science teacher with $25,000 in new equipment to update their classroom with the latest technology. A runner-up receives $5,000 in new equipment. There will also be a $2,500 viewers’ choice award selected by the general public from among all entries received.

ORAU launched Extreme Classroom Makeover in 2008 to help improve STEM education in public schools across East Tennessee. The concept played off of home makeover shows that were trendy at the time—one teacher, one classroom and $25,000 in new technology.

In the years since, particularly since the coronavirus pandemic, technology has proven to be a vital part of the education experience for students. Still, some schools do not have the budgets to keep pace with changing technology. Keeping up with current demands seems like a luxury.

That’s where Extreme Classroom Makeover can help.

Impact Areas

Catlettsburg Elementary School teacher wins 2023 Extreme Classroom Makeover

Danielle Roderick, fourth grade teacher at Catlettsburg Elementary School in Sevierville, Tennessee, was named winner of the $25,000 grand prize in ORAU’s 2023 Extreme Classroom Makeover. Roderick also earned an additional $2,500 as winner of the competition’s Viewers’ Choice Award.

Rebecca Layton, teacher at Karns Middle School, was the winner of the $5,000 runner-up prize for her video.

Danielle Roderick, teacher at Catlettsburg Elementary School in Sevierville, Tennessee, was named winner of the $25,000 grand prize in ORAU’s 2023 Extreme Classroom Makeover

How do I qualify?

  • Teach a STEM subject for 3rd through 10th grade.
  • Work for a public school within 50 miles of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
  • Submit a 3-4 minute video creatively illustrating the need and potential uses of technology in their classroom AND complete the brief online application.

The winner will be determined by a panel of educators and ORAU staff. Entries will be judged on how well they:

  • Demonstrate or explain the need for technology at your school and how your students will benefit.
  • Demonstrate or explain the potential use of technology in your classroom.
  • Demonstrate overall creativity in the entry and an explanation of the teaching philosophy and/or approach that will be used to expand the learning experience.
ORAU awards $25,000 to Stacey Whaley at Northview Primary STEM School in the 2022 Extreme Classroom Makeover competition

Extreme Classroom Makeover Timeline

  • Annual competition opens on November 15, 2024.
  • Video application submission deadline is January 31, 2024.
  • Judging occurs in February.
  • Winners of the grand prize, runner-up, and viewers’ choice awards announced in March/April.
A female student uses a virtual reality headset

Contact us

Want to learn more about the Extreme Classroom Makeover? Email us at