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confetti falls as students help cut the ribbon for the STEM lab

Confetti and cheers filled the auditorium of Hawthorne Elementary as part of the official celebration of Devon Energy’s gift of 47 Ripken STEM centers in Tulsa. 

Devon Energy partnered with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to install the cutting-edge science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) centers in Tulsa Public Schools elementary schools.

Baseball hall of famer Cal Ripken, Jr. visited Tulsa to see the impact of the partnership between Devon Energy, the Ripken Foundation, and Tulsa Public Schools.  

“It’s amazing to see how quickly these students master some pretty complex concepts with tools we provide in the STEM centers,” said Cal Ripken, Jr. “Our partnership with Devon is helping install a love of STEM in kids at a young age across Tulsa. Being exposed to STEM at a young age clearly excites and engages them and gives them a great path forward.” 

All Tulsa Public Schools STEM centers include 3D printers, Snap Circuits, Bee-Bots, Ozobots and other materials to facilitate an understanding of science and the basics of coding. Curriculum and teacher training were provided by the Ripken Foundation. 

Hawthorne elementary students showed Cal Ripken, Jr. and Devon leaders how to use the high-tech tools in the school’s STEM center.  

“Students’ excitement is contagious,” said Rick Muncrief, Devon Energy President and CEO. “Devon is proud to invest in the next generation of STEM leaders in a way that encourages their natural curiosity and nurtures their passion for learning.” 

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

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

In a luncheon celebration, the Foundation for Tulsa Public Schools announced an endowment to help sustain these STEM centers for the future. 

“These STEM centers are making a dramatic difference in our students’ lives, but we want to keep them relevant with emerging technologies and new tools in the coming years,” said Sarah Gould, chair for the Foundation for Tulsa Public Schools. “We hope other companies will follow Devon’s lead to ensure this gift has an impact for generations to come. Our corporate partners are critical in providing innovative learning opportunities.”

Click through the slideshow below to view photos of the celebration.

STEM Lab Ribbon Cutting at Hawthorne Elementary