OK Elementary School Gets Access to 2 STEM Centers

An army of volunteers from local nonprofits and companies showed up to an Oklahoma City elementary school to help set up two new STEM operations.

According to local reporting, employees from Home Depot turned a former lodge building into a learning center, with a paint job to the exterior and demolition on the interior. The Engage Learning center, named after the organization that will run it, will have its own staff and maker equipment. Engage Learning is an Oklahoma organization that sets up learning opportunities for students in the state; financial support comes from Devon Energy, which is headquartered in Oklahoma City.

While the space, which sits next to Mark Twain Elementary School, will be taken over by the younger students and their families during the school year, it will also serve middle schoolers and high schoolers, for organized STEM projects. The maker space will feature 3D printers, laser cutters, a wood shop and other tools community members can use.

The elementary school itself will also have a STEM area in its media center. The set-up inside the school was handled by volunteers from Devon Energy, which has provided help and mentoring for the school for 15 years. There, the STEM center will have LEGO kits, robotics, circuit sets, computing devices and 3D printers.

Financial support for STEM centers throughout the state is being provided by Devon Energy and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. The goal is for every elementary school in Oklahoma eventually to have a STEM center.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.