The Cottonwood Elementary Coyotes are celebrating new ways to engage with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning thanks to a gift from Devon Energy in partnership with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
At an assembly, the school’s fourth graders commemorated the new STEM lab, which features a 3D printer, Bee Bots, Code Hoppers, Snap Circuits and Ozobots.
“You can really see the kids’ excitement when they see what’s available in the STEM center,” Cottonwood Principal Lacey Goad said. “They have a natural desire to explore and tinker, and they have so much fun they don’t realize how much they’re learning. We can’t thank Devon enough for helping provide the very best education for our students.”
Shannon Johnson, senior community relations specialist for Devon, said the company supports innovative learning where it operates.
“Technology plays a role in everything people do at home and at work, so it is critical children start understanding these topics from a young age,” Johnson said. “Devon provides tools and training so today’s students understand the careers that will be available to them. We want them to understand how positive their future can be!”
The Ripken Foundation provides training, a curriculum guidebook and activity kits to enhance the use of technology tools in the centers. The organization has opened 128 STEM centers nationwide, encouraging minority and at-risk youth to pursue higher education and careers in STEM-related fields.
Steve Salem, Ripken Foundation president and CEO, said the organization helps young students discover their own potential while gaining an important understanding of technology.
“Students in Carlsbad deserve to have a top-of-the-line educational experience that truly prepares them for the future,” Salem said. “By partnering with engaged corporations and local educators, we can make a huge, positive difference.”
Devon and the Ripken Foundation have previously partnered in southeastern New Mexico to open 18 STEM centers.
About the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
For the last 19 years, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has worked tirelessly to implement youth development programs and create parks that directly address the problems facing at-risk youth in distressed communities across the country. Inspired by one of the most iconic baseball families, the Ripkens created the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to honor the legacy of its family patriarch, longtime coach, and mentor, Cal Ripken, Sr. The Ripken Foundation uses sports-themed activities to bring police officers, youth partners and underserved kids ages 9 – 14 together on a level playing field to learn invaluable life skills.
The Ripken Foundation’s Youth Development Park Initiative creates clean, safe places for kids to play on multipurpose, synthetic surface fields that promote healthy living in an outdoor recreational facility. Since 2009, the Ripken Foundation has 99 completed parks across the country in 26 states and Washington, D.C. In 2019, the Ripken Foundation impacted over 1.5 million kids nationwide through its Youth Development Park and mentor programs. For more information, visit www.RipkenFoundation.org. Follow @CalRipkenSrFdn on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.