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NORTH TULSA  — Tulsa Dream Center students will head to Baltimore to compete in the final round of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s STEM Challenge powered by XTO Energy and Devon Energy.  

The Tulsa team is one of two finalists out of the original 32 teams competing. They used tools from the Tulsa Dream Center’s Ripken STEM center, provided by Devon Energy in 2021, to design a prototype for counting money.  

The prototype, built like a tree, outlines each branch with lead graphite which is connected to the motherboard and preprogrammed to announce when a bill is being touched and what president is on the bill.  

Photo courtesy of Tulsa Dream Center

In addition to presenting to board members of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, the team will visit the National Aquarium, go to a Baltimore Oriole’s baseball game and meet the Ironman himself, Cal Ripken, Jr.

Devon Energy is sponsoring the team’s travel.  

“The Ripken STEM center has opened doors to amazing experiences for our students,” said Tim Newton, executive director at the Tulsa Dream Center. “For many students, this is their first time on a plane or even leaving the state. This competition is not only giving them real life experiences in STEM, but also showing them a world of opportunities.” 

Tulsa Dream Center helps students soar

Christina Rehkop, director of community relations at Devon, said the company is proud of the Tulsa Dream Center team and are rooting for them as they compete in Baltimore.  

“The accomplishments of this team are impressive and the skills they are learning will provide confidence in exploring careers available to them,” she said. “It’s so meaningful to see the seed we planted, installing the STEM center at the Tulsa Dream Center, blossom into this incredible opportunity for students to travel to Baltimore and see their ingenuity be rewarded.”  

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has installed over 300 STEM centers across the county. 

“We created this national competition to encourage students to use their new tools to their full potential,” said Steve Salem, President & CEO of the Ripken Foundation. “It’s inspiring to see the Tulsa Dream Center students emerge as finalists based on their creativity and skill. We look forward to hosting them in Baltimore.” 

The team travels to Maryland and presents their prototype on May 18. 

About the Tulsa Dream Center  

As a faith-based community center, the Tulsa Dream Center (TDC) works through strategic community partnerships to offer programs designed to break the cycle of poverty. TDC is a resource of support, encouragement, and empowerment for citizens in North Tulsa. TDC addresses critical needs, fights generational poverty and unites the city. Learn more at or click here.

About Devon Energy?  

Devon Energy is a leading oil and gas producer in the U.S. with a premier multi-basin portfolio headlined by a world-class acreage position in the Delaware Basin. Devon’s disciplined cash-return business model is designed to achieve strong returns, generate free cash flow and return capital to shareholders, while focusing on safe and sustainable operations. For more information, please visit  

About the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation  

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps to strengthen America’s most underserved and distressed communities by supporting and advocating for children, building Youth Development Parks and STEM Centers, partnering with law enforcement and youth-service agencies, and addressing community needs through its national program initiatives.

In 2022, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1.3 million youth nationwide through its Youth Development Parks and youth development programs. Since 2009, the Ripken Foundation has 112 completed parks across the country in 26 states and Washington, D.C. In addition, since 2016, the Ripken Foundation has installed over 300 STEM Centers in 19 states.

For more information, visit Follow @CalRipkenSrFdn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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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