(Chandler FFA received a STEM Grant from Devon.)
Four central Oklahoma FFA chapters will be able to expand science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education with funds provided by Devon Energy.
Chandler FFA will use the grant to purchase equipment to enhance the chapter’s watermelon production and research. Students grow watermelons on a 10-acre school farm to understand the vegetable growing and production cycle, including how different methods affect soil health and wildlife. The Meeker FFA will also use the equipment for tomato production.
Harrah FFA plans to acquire a new camera and lens kit – along with computers for image processing – for its “Life Through a Lens” project. The equipment will allow students to create high-quality materials as they learn how to market and communicate about agricultural products.
Marlow and Central High FFA will buy 12 basic meat-cutting sets which will allow students to receive hands-on training to earn American Meat Science Association certifications in food safety, meat selection and cookery and meat evaluation. A lack of trained meat cutters is one factor that has caused potential food shortages in the U.S. during the pandemic.
In Ryan, the funds will support the “Etching in the Future” program which increases knowledge of industrial technology and engineering. The chapter plans to purchase a laser-engraving machine to create a sustainable business in the community.
“Oklahoma’s FFA students and their teachers come up with incredible ways to help students understand and gain experience in agriculture. But there’s no way we could provide all the equipment our members need without help,” said Jacey Fye, executive director of the Oklahoma FFA Foundation. “Thanks to Devon, today’s students will have a deeper understanding of science and technology.”
Devon started the FFA Technology & Innovation Grants in 2019 to increase access to advanced tools being used in the agriculture industry and provide hands-on learning opportunities. This year, Ovintiv offered grants as well.
“We know students learn best when they can put STEM principles into action and see the results,” said Christina Rehkop, Devon’s director of community relations. “These grants give schools exactly what they need to prepare the next generations of scientists, engineers and agriculture experts, and we are glad to support schools across Oklahoma.”
The Guthrie and Coyle FFA chapters also received a grant from Devon.