Source: Oak Ridge Today | Cathy Ginel | December 11, 2016

Have you ever run on a treadmill until you are out of breath? Have you ever gotten to a comfortable point and then pushed that speed up just a little more to give yourself a better workout? Tennessee science teachers are on the treadmill, have pushed themselves, are seeing results, and are gearing themselves up for more.

The Nation’s Report Card was recently released showing that Tennessee students grew faster than the national average in science. Tennessee is now ranked the fastest improving in the nation in science and has moved into the top 25 states in science. Tennessee has eliminated the achievement gap between male and female students and has narrowed the achievement gap between white, Hispanic, and black students in science. This encouraging news provided us with needed results and evidence that education changes in Tennessee are having a positive outcome with our students. Teachers are seeing results of their additional work and are pushing for even higher scores in the future.

As an Oak Ridge middle school science teacher, I am proud to consider my students as emerging scientists in a town whose history is deeply entrenched in science and technology. Of all the towns in Tennessee, Oak Ridge’s past and current science connections through Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and other science commerce require that we provide a high-quality science education to produce high achieving science students. When considering our science education work in Oak Ridge, I found evidence within three changes to science instruction that support these improved scores:

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