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K-12 STEM Education Programs

Inspiring the scientists of tomorrow, today

Colorful and Sweet Chemistry. Project Wet. Design Thinking.

For teachers, these are just some of the professional development programs ORAU offers at no cost every summer to enhance their knowledge and skills in STEM education. Our hands-on, multifaceted programs give teachers opportunities to test new techniques and keep up with technological innovations. The goal: to help them motivate and inspire tomorrow’s STEM leaders.

For students, we offer real-life laboratory experiences, hands-on activities and personalized experiences through programs we manage in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Joint Science and Technology Institute.

The future of STEM is in their hands. Through these programs, we help them get there.

  • Middle School students engaged in STEM activity

    K-12 Student Programs

    ORAU has more than 70 years of experience developing and managing STEM education programs that motivate and inspire tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. Students interested in learning more about STEM careers can participate in several programs that will give one-of-a-kind experiences and access to professional researchers.

    Learn about our student programs

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    K-12 Educator Programs

    ORAU provides leading-edge and innovative education for the teachers who will educate the next generation of STEM leaders. STEM teachers from Kindergarten through high school, and others interested in the STEM fields, can choose from a number of professional development opportunities provided by ORAU.

    Learn about our educator programs

  • Extreme Classroom Makeover winning class

    Extreme Classroom Makeover

    ORAU launched Extreme Classroom Makeover in 2008 to help improve science, technology, engineering and math education in public schools across East Tennessee. Our annual competition awards deserving STEM teachers with a room full of the latest educational technology—one teacher, one classroom and $25,000 in new technology.

    Learn more about Extreme Classroom Makeover

  • Students in robotics class

    Education Grants

    ORAU directly supports the schools in our own backyard by offering education grants to Anderson County educators. Since 2002, ORAU has funded more than $500,000 in grants to area schools for projects that complement ORAU’s mission of enriching STEM education programs.

    Learn more about Education Grants

Make a STEMpact in your community

STEMpactIs your organization interested in helping sponsor STEM education programs in your community? All programs offered by ORAU are carefully designed and presented to be appropriate for the age, grade and achievement levels of the participating students. Training for teachers is included in program design. ORAU furnishes the curriculum, instructors and all resource materials. STEM learning experiences can be conducted at a nearby school, community center, place of business or other appropriate venue.

Whether you simply want to sponsor and fund these activities or you want to participate fully in the delivery of them, ORAU can provide your organization with a fully customizable plan to offer and support STEM education programs in your community.

Learn more about partnering with us to make a #STEMpact in your community!

View the K-12 STEM Programs Fact Sheet


Download the ORAU K-12 STEM Programs fact sheet (.pdf, 541.89 KB). 

The ORAU Center for Science Education provides a number of free hands-on STEM programs for students to engage in learning and for the educators who inspire them. ORAU places a high value on equipping elementary, middle and high school teachers with tools and experiences to enhance their classroom instruction.

Our hands-on programs give teachers opportunities to test new techniques and keep up with technological innovations. The goal—to help them motivate and inspire tomorrow’s STEM leaders.

Our K-12 activities offer students a way to participate in authentic, hands-on experiences designed to engage young minds in STEM subjects and challenge them beyond the classroom environment.

Contact us

For more information about K-12 educator professional development, as well as other classroom opportunities, please contact