Oil and gas funds new STEM centers in OKC schools

The people of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas continue to invest in the state’s future by funding nearly half of the 33 new Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation STEM Centers in Oklahoma City elementary schools. These facilities will provide students with hands-on experiences and learning that will assist them in developing their problem-solving skills through science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Led by the Oklahoma Energy Resource Board (OERB), which sponsored 10 centers, Ascent Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, Kimray and Reign Capital Holdings also sponsored labs, bringing the total number funded by oil and natural gas entities to 15 labs at an investment of $450,000.

“The oil and natural gas industry is 100 percent committed to supporting our state’s future leaders,” said OERB Chairman Mike McDonald. “The STEM Centers we funded will provide teachers with the tools they need to educate young Oklahomans about the important fields of science, technology, engineering and math, which are not only critical to our industry but to the future of our country.”

Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas volunteers will be engaging with students at these centers throughout the academic year to provide additional resources and real-life applications of the concepts they are learning.

“The opportunities being provided to the students of Oklahoma City Public Schools through the Oil & Natural Gas industry’s generous support are nothing short of transformational,” said President of the Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools Mary Melon. “As the largest contributor of the new STEM Centers, the industry’s leadership played a key role in making this project a success and encouraged others to follow suit.”

Supporting education is a core mission of Oklahoma Oil & Natural Gas, which is why the OERB board of directors voted to provide $300,000, the largest sponsorship in the history of the program, to support the STEM Centers. Through the OERB, the industry invests considerable time and resources every year to help teachers and students with free curricula, classroom materials and college scholarships.

The OERB also partners with organizations, museums and universities to bring interactive science, technology, engineering and math exhibits to communities across Oklahoma.

Funded through a voluntary 1 percent assessment on oil and natural gas production, the OERB works with the people of Oklahoma Oil and Natural Gas to improve the lives of all Oklahomans through education and restoration.