SOUTHWEST, OK (KSWO) -Students in Duncan, Marlow and Lawton all have new Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math equipment all thanks to the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board.
OERB divided $2 million dollars in grants to boost STEM materials and resources to every school district in our viewing area and across the state.
The schools have already received their equipment but on Monday OERB met with students and school leaders for a check presentation at each school.
The students were extremely excited and said they can't wait to start using the new equipment this fall. Teachers said STEM material allows their students to learn hands on rather than sitting in the classroom. It also prepares them for career opportunities in the STEM field.
Duncan Public Schools received a grant for almost $10,000 and teachers at Plato, Horace Mann, Mark Twain, Emerson and Woodrow Wilson Elementary schools were able to purchase, coding devices and robotic kits for students.
"This is a wonderful opportunity we've been introducing Maker Spaces into our library program so this gives us the opportunity to incorporate more technology into those creative learning experiences," said Librarian Ashlee Hoyt.
5th grade student Fatima Caoile said she's ready to use the Makey Makey Maker space. The circuit board set allows students to transform almost anything into a working computer keyboard using codes.
"You can make different sounds and i can't wait to start creating and making things," Caoile said.
Teachers in the Marlow Public School District used their $3,000 grant to buy graphing calculators, and science equipment that tests PH-levels.
"The kids love hands on to do all of those types of projects, OERB has allowed us to purchase equipment that otherwise we might not could have had and we've already been able to use some of these in the classrooms and they have really enjoyed it immensely. We appreciate everything they've done for us," said Marlow teacher Rhonda Hennan.
OERB Communications Director Dara McBee said they hear from teachers all the time about how they need STEM supplies in the classroom.
"So STEM is our future. It is the future of the oil and gas industry. It's the future of aviation, medicine and agriculture and so we want to make sure kids have the equipment and the resources they need because the jobs are the future of our state and the nation," McBee said.
Lawton Public Schools received one of the largest grants at nearly $41,000 to purchase about 180 Chrome books and 6 carts to charge and store the devices at the middle and high schools.
"We are going to use these Chrome books in our Science and Math departments.We had some vener probes and things that are digital. These will help make Math and Science more exciting so these devices help our students move forward in a faster pace," Veldhuizen said.
OERB was able to fund the grants through a five-year rolling budget.Board members said because they conservatively forecast the price of oil and gas, the OERB was able to use the extra money in their budget for STEM resources.
To see a full list of schools in our area that received a grant click the OERB link.