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TULSA, Okla. – Robots, 3D printers and coding tools are now at the fingertips of elementary students and part of daily learning across Tulsa thanks to a historic gift from Devon Energy.

Devon partnered with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to install 47 cutting-edge science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Centers in Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) elementaries and the Tulsa Dream Center. The spaces allow budding young scientists and engineers to practice their critical thinking skills, expand their horizons and be exposed to the wonders of technological learning.

“Introducing students to STEM at a young age helps them stretch their imaginations, discover their true potential and achieve dreams they may never have thought possible,” Devon President and CEO Rick Muncrief said. “Devon’s recent merger of equals with WPX created the perfect opportunity for us to make a transformational gift to Tulsa.  These STEM Centers are an investment in the future of our community.”

All of the STEM Centers include 3D printers, Snap Circuits, Bee-Bots, Ozobots and other high-tech tools to facilitate an understanding of science and the basics of coding. Curriculum and teacher training were provided by the Ripken Foundation.

“When I was young, math really appealed to me,” said baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. “As technology advances, it becomes more important every year to give today’s students fun, interactive tools to put them on the path toward success. We are so thankful to Devon and our other partners for their help bringing STEM Centers to kids who need them.”

Since 2016, more than 50,000 students across 15 states have been impacted by the Ripken Foundation’s partnership with Devon. Currently, there are 128 STEM Centers nationwide teaching students about what these fields have to offer.

TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist thanked Devon and the Ripken Foundation for their innovative gift and commitment to outfitting schools across the district.

“We are committed to preparing our students for the greatest success in college and careers, and we want our graduates prepared for the many jobs available in the STEM fields,” Gist said. “These STEM Centers will give our students a head start in preparing for rewarding careers while creating fun and exciting hands-on learning opportunities today!”

Anhna Vuong, president and CEO of the Foundation for Tulsa Schools said the project will have a lasting impact.

“This transformational effort will improve the lives of countless students for generations to come,” Vuong said. “Devon’s dedication to Tulsa students also exemplifies the amazing positive impact corporate partners can have in our communities.”

The Black Wall Street Times is a news publication located in Tulsa, Okla. and Atlanta, Ga. At The BWSTimes, we focus on elevating the stories of our beloved Greenwood community, elevating the stories of...

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