A grant of more than $158,000 has been made by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board to the Oklahoma City school district as part of its continuing support of STEM programming.
The presentation of the $158,392 was made by Mindy Stitt, OERB Executive Director to School District Superintendent dr. Sean McDaniel.
The grant, which was conferred to OKCPS in February of the current year, has allowed the school district to acquire FOSS science kits and consumables such as owl pellets, live organisms and other materials for elementary schools.
At the secondary level schools, the grant has also allowed to purchase consumables, chemicals, plants, seeds, living cultures for experiments, organisms to dissect, and science tools such as thermometers, heat mats, and pH meters. Additionally, the OERB grant enables OKCPS to add 2 more sites to participate in Junior BotBall. Now, a total of 19 schools will be able to take part in the robotics competition.
“We are grateful to OERB for this generous grant,” said OKCPS Superintendent, Dr. Sean McDaniel. “These materials have enhanced our STEM programming and allowed students the opportunity to experience learning academic concepts through practical experiences. By providing these rich learning opportunities, students can truly engage in STEM and bridge the gap to convert abstract concepts into hands-on skills, thus developing critical thinking,” he added.
“Through voluntary funding from the oil and natural gas industry, the OERB has been committed to providing quality resources for Oklahoma teachers for more than 20 years,” said OERB Executive Director Mindy Stitt. “This grant is an effort to further our mission of increasing STEM materials and equipment in all Oklahoma school districts. We are thrilled Oklahoma City Public Schools is able to provide students with hands-on learning experiences through this grant.”
“We are thrilled to have received this STEM grant from OERB,” said Marilynn Kellert, Principal at Belle Isle Middle School. “At Belle Isle Middle School, students have been working on many science projects thanks to this grant. From planting seeds and watching them germinate, to studying soil and how the light affects growth in plants, these are only a few of the things our students have been learning—all through hands-on projects with materials obtained through the grant,” she added.
The grant conferred to OKCPS is part of a $2 million OERB grant that bolsters science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) materials and equipment in every Oklahoma school district. The school districts in the state were eligible for a portion of the funds based on enrollment and percentage of low income students. As the largest school district in the state of Oklahoma, OKCPS received the major portion of the education grant.