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Educational Outreach


  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is the leader in computing and computational sciences and will continue to ensure that its expertise, resources, and scientific capabilities will remain world class, by recruiting and retaining diversity in its intellectual ideas and talent through the Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate’s (CCSD) Educational Outreach Program.


  • Enhance the scientific community's understanding and appreciation of ORNL's High Performance computing and computational programs.
  • Increase our educational outreach interactions with universities and other institutions of education and research.
  • Increase diversity in the field of computing and computational sciences by assisting the development of these programs at HBCUs and increasing participation of women and minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
  • Identify and recruit top candidates.
  • Employ targeted recruitment strategies.
  • Students from the Appalachian Regional Commission Institute for Science and Mathematics build a computer cluster -- a group of computers communicating with one another to operate as a single machine -- out of Mac mini CPUs. The students were mentored by staff from ORNL's Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate.

CCSD Educational Program

  • STEM outreach is vital to encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers. STEM activities for both students, mentors and teachers, conducted by ORNL’s CCSD staff, are coordinated through the directorate’s Educational Outreach Program.
  • A wide range of activities are supported for students in kindergarten through grade 12. Activities include: judging at science fairs, Science Expos for grades K-5, participation with ORAU’s Science Village, presenters for Saturday Science, and attending high school career fairs.
  • Teacher’s Workshops are conducted for middle and high school science teachers and include classroom presentations, hands-on experiments (that can be taken back to the classrooms), and tours of the research facilities


  • Researchers from industry, academia, and government use ORNL supercomputers and support systems for data analytics, visualization, and storage to illuminate phenomena that are often impossible to study in a laboratory, such as climate change, galaxy formation, or fusion in a reactor not yet built.
  • Simulations compress design cycles and lower costs for vehicle engines, airplane wings, and power plants, as virtual prototypes can be tested before their physical construction. In fields from disaster relief to the electric grid, simulations provide real-time situational awareness to inform decisions.
  • Modeling and simulation speed insights into electrochemical energy storage, solar photovoltaic conversion, and the nuclear fuel cycle. Simulations led to the invention of a novel super capacitor, forced rewriting of astrophysics textbooks when it was revealed how pulsars get their spins, and exposed the molecular mechanism of Parkinson’s disease.
  • DOE supercomputers have helped the Federal Bureau of Investigation find child pornographers and the Department of Defense assess terrorist threats. An ORNL computing infrastructure to help the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services combat fraud is underway. An important focus lab-wide is managing the tsunamis of data generated by supercomputers and at facilities like ORNL’s Spallation Neutron Source.