Devon Energy joins others in funding STEM center to help minority students


Urban League of Greater Oklahoma celebrated the opening of a new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) Center funded in part by Devon Energy. 

This innovative learning space is provided through a partnership between Devon Energy and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. The STEM Center supports the organization’s mission to bring social and economic equality to minority students in northeast Oklahoma City.   

Dr. Valerie Thompson, president & CEO of Urban League, said she is thankful for the opportunities this space will provide for students at Urban League.   

“We are dedicated to eliminating barriers to academic success by exposing students to experiences they wouldn’t normally get,” said Thompson. “This STEM Center is more than just an educational space; it is an introduction to limitless opportunities. Our kids can do anything, and we are thankful for our corporate partners like Devon that believe in the future of our students.”  

Aaron Ketter, vice president of the Mid-Continent and South Texas business unit at Devon Energy and a board member of Urban League, said Devon is focused on the success of the future generation.   

Devon is committed to providing the necessary resources for the future success of our youth,” said Ketter. “Our hope is that this STEM Center will be a fun place for kids to develop skills such as teamwork, innovation and problem solving. Urban League does an amazing job providing opportunities for the students they serve, and we are honored to partner with them.”  

Ripken Foundation STEM Centers include innovative learning equipment like 3D printers, Snap Circuits, Indi Cars and Bee-Bots. These tools help students hone their critical thinking skills and stretch their imaginations.  

Steve Salem, president and CEO of the Ripken Foundation, said the interactive environment can help spark students’ interest in STEM.   

“This STEM Center is a reminder that learning can be fun, igniting students’ curiosity with hands-on equipment,” said Salem. “We are honored to provide more learning opportunities for the students at Urban League.”  

The Ripken Foundation provides training, a curriculum guidebook and activity kits to enhance the tools in the STEM Centers. The organization has opened more than 530 STEM Centers nationwide.