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Extreme Classroom Makeover 2024 application deadline extended

One local teacher will win $25K for new classroom technology

Thanks to ORAU’s trademark annual event Extreme Classroom Makeover, $25,000 is once again up for grabs for area teachers in a friendly competition where the winner gets to update their classroom with the newest technology.

The mission of Extreme Classroom Makeover is to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in public schools. The competition will award one 3rd through 10th grade math or science teacher at a public school within a 50-mile radius of Oak Ridge, Tenn., with $25,000 in new equipment to update their classroom with their wish list of tech gear. One runner-up will receive $5,000 in new equipment. There will also be a $2,500 viewers’ choice award winner selected by the general public from among all entries received.

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

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.

“The possibilities for creating a learning environment integrated with today’s technology are incredible,” said Pam Bonee, director of communications and marketing for ORAU. “This generation of students has strong potential for a seamless transition from the classroom into STEM jobs—if only schools had the budget to provide the latest and greatest teaching tools. That’s where ORAU’s Extreme Classroom Makeover comes in. We do for one what we wish we could do for all. Through this program, we’ve been able to award technology to more than 30 area schools since 2009. From these opportunities, we know students have gone on to pursue careers inspired by the technology ORAU purchased. We’re thrilled to play a small role in encouraging more students in their STEM education.”

Since Extreme Classroom Makeover launched 15 years ago, ORAU has awarded more than $500,000 in technology to local schools.

Teachers interested in applying for the ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover prize need to submit a video application by Friday, Feb. 16, 2024. Winners will be notified in mid-March, and the technology will be purchased and installed in their classrooms for the start of the 2024-25 school year.

To be eligible for the competition, teachers must:

  • Teach science or math for 3rd through 10th
  • Work for a public school within a 50-mile radius of Oak Ridge, Tenn.
  • Submit a three-to-four-minute video creatively illustrating the need and possible uses of desired technology in their classroom.
  • Additional information, including the application and video submission portal can be found on the Extreme Classroom Makeover page.
  • Deadline to submit video applications is Friday, Feb. 16, 2024.

A panel of educators and ORAU staff will determine the wining classroom. Entries will be judged on how well they:

  • Demonstrate or explain the need for their desired technology.
  • Demonstrate or explain how they would use this technology.
  • Demonstrate overall creativity in the entry.
  • Provide an explanation of the teaching philosophy and/or approach that will be used to expand the STEM learning experience and encourage students to pursue careers in STEM fields.

For questions about Extreme Classroom Makeover, send an email to

Visit Extreme Classroom Makeover page for more information about the contest.

ORAU Media Contacts and Information

About ORAU

ORAU, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, provides science, health, and workforce solutions that address national priorities and serve the public interest. Through our specialized teams of experts and access to a consortium of more than 150 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local, and commercial customers to provide innovative scientific and technical solutions and help advance their missions. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Media Contacts

Pam BoneeDirector, CommunicationsCell: (865) 603-5142
Wendy WestManager, CommunicationsCell: (865) 207-7953