KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– A University of Tennessee program for improving science and mathematics education received a $235,000 boost from Lockheed Martin Corporation Monday.
Dr. Bob Van Hook, president of Lockheed Martin Energy Systems in Oak Ridge, presented a check to University of Tennessee officials for UT’s Academy for Teachers of Science and Mathematics.
The presentation was made at Fulton High School, whose teachers have benefited from the program.
Dr. Al Trivelpiece, president of Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp. and director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was represented by ORNL Deputy Director Richard Genung.
Lockheed Martin is a founding partner of the academy, announced in 1990 when President George Bush visited UT-Knoxville. Since it was established, Lockheed Martin has provided more than $1.6 million to support the academy.
It was established to help science and math teachers sharpen classroom skills so they can help students think critically and solve problems, UT President Joe Johnson said.
“Lockheed Martin has multiple partnerships and working arrangements with UT, and they serve the university, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Lockheed Martin Energy Systems well,” Van Hook said.
“The academy is particularly important because it helps classroom teachers do a better job and generate student excitement for mathematics and science. Al Trivelpiece and I share the belief that a strong education is the key to students’ future success.”
In addition to the check for the academy, Van Hook presented Johnson a check for $94,600, representing Lockheed Martin’s match of its employees’ recent gifts to UT through the corporation’s Matching Gifts to Education Program.
Some 700 teachers from 13 states and Canada have attended the academy and comments from alumni and school administrators speak to its success, Johnson said.
“Everything I’ve heard about this program has been overwhelmingly positive,” Johnson said. “Those who participate are our best recruiters. They go home, talk about the academy, and try to send fellow teachers to Knoxville.
“That’s because we have excellent faculty who work with the participants and partners like Lockheed Martin, the Department of Energy and the Tennessee Department of Education.”
Fulton’s Karen Biddle is a prime example of how the academy helps teachers, Johnson said.
Mike Reynolds, Fulton principal, said Biddle’s enthusiasm prompted him to attend an academy session for school administrators who have teachers in the program.
“As a result of our involvement in the academy, we will have a new course this fall that totally integrates math, science and problem solving for our students,” Reynolds said.
Participation in the academy reflects the administration’s and faculty’s aspirations for the North Knoxville school, he said.
“When it was built in the 1950s, Fulton High School was called ‘the castle on the hill’ because of the pride the community felt for the building and what it represented. With the renovation of the building and the renewal of spirit inside the walls, we aspire to again be ‘the castle on the hill,”‘ Reynolds said.
Chancellor Bill Snyder said the academy is an excellent example of how a comprehensive institution like UT-Knoxville serves the larger community.
“In programs like the academy, our three missions of instruction, research and outreach come into play,” Snyder said. “Some of our best faculty members, working with scientists at Oak Ridge, use our research and computer laboratories to provide help to one of the nation’s most important and influential groups – our classroom teachers.”
Academy participants spend four weeks at UT-Knoxville. Their expenses are paid by gifts from sponsors like Lockheed Martin and by tuition grants from state or local school boards for districts.
Dr. Kenneth Monty, professor of biochemistry and cell biology, is the academy’s director.
Contact: Dr. Ken Monty (423-974-3594)