Devon and Ovintiv award STEM grants to FFA chapters

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Two major oil and gas producers, Devon Energy and Ovintiv Inc. handed out more grants to help Oklahoma FFA chapters with science and math education.

The FFA chapters in Guymon, Kingfisher and Shattuck were named winners during the FFA Northwest Area Chapter Officer Leadership Training (COLT) held in Enid. They received technology and innovation grants to enhance their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

“We know students learn best when they’re able to explore STEM through hands-on experimentation,” said Christina Rehkop, community relations director for Devon. “These grants will help provide Oklahoma FFA chapters with additional tools to boost students’ understanding of how science and technology is used in the agriculture industry. We’re glad for the chance to support the next generation of STEM leaders.”

Devon launched FFA Technology & Innovation Grants in 2019 to increase access to advanced tools used in the agriculture industry and provide real-world learning experiences. This is the second year for Ovintiv to support the initiative.

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“Ovintiv is committed to fostering scientific learning in young people and helping them understand the important link between the oil and natural gas and agriculture industries,” said Sandy Kent, community relations director for Ovintiv. “We’re proud to help fund these grants to drive innovative thinking in future scientists, engineers and agriculture experts.”

Guymon FFA will use the grant to purchase a laser engraving machine, engraving material, laser burn software. The chapter will then use the equipment to create awards for its Panhandle Area Contest, helping to instill community pride in students from surrounding areas. Beaver, Boise City, Goodwell, Hardesty, Hooker and Texhoma FFA chapters will also share the equipment.

Kingfisher FFA plans to acquire an Expanded Mini FodderPro 2.0 Feed System from FarmTek, which will be set up year-round in the chapter’s existing greenhouse. Kingfisher and Lomega FFA students will use the equipment in plant and animal science pathways classes. Additionally, students will employ the feed system to conduct trials for the annual Agriscience Fair and in projects to grow and sell fodder for livestock.

In Shattuck, the funds will help buy a virtual reality welding simulator for members — including those in Arnett and Fargo FFA chapters — to practice Stik and MIG welding skills without metal, rods, wire or gas. The high-tech equipment allows students to learn proper welding techniques and explore welding career paths while saving money on costly consumables.

Empire, Meeker, Perkins-Tyron and Wayne FFA chapters also received Technology & Innovation Grants.