STEM Is the Future in Oklahoma as Gas Industry Brings It
Director, External Affairs
[Editor’s Note: Science, technology, engineering and math or STEM education is the future if there is to be one and the natural gas industry is helping to bring it to Oklahoma.]
The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) hosted a Community STEM night in Weatherford, Oklahoma, recently, and Coterra employees joined in the fun by volunteering and bringing their families to the event.
Close to 350 students, partners, and teachers from Weatherford and nearby school districts partook in the fun, interactive exhibits that highlight science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts.
“Through voluntary funding from the oil and natural gas industry, the OERB brings Community STEM Nights to cities across Oklahoma to engage our future leaders. The goal is to spark students’ interest in STEM careers and inspire the next generation of our workforce while demonstrating our commitment to the communities where we live and work.” – Lisa Schwarz, OERB Education Director
Exhibitors included the Science Museum of Oklahoma, Ag in the Classroom, the National Cowboy Museum, the Oklahoma History Center, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma.
Coterra joined Devon Energy, Schlumberger and Beacon to represent the energy industry.
Coterra facilitated an engineering challenge on behalf of the OERB. Students had to erect a tower using different size plastic cups. Students were given the freedom to use as many cups as they wished but were not allowed to use any adhesives or tape. Throughout the evening every possible combination was attempted, with most ending in a collapse. The tallest towers reached close to 6 feet and were only limited by the height of each student, standing on their tippy toes, trying to place one more cup.
The core lesson of the activity was mechanical and structural engineering and how different designs created more stable foundations to build taller towers. Throughout the activity Coterra employees discussed how different types of engineers are used throughout the industry to develop oil & natural gas.
Zack Langford and Jared Swenson represented Coterra throughout the evening. Langford, a Coterra automation foreman, shared how appreciative he was to be able to represent the company in his community. “I only live a few miles from the school and my children are really enjoying themselves this evening,” He continued, “this is a positive for our community and I am glad to be a part of this.” Both Langford and Swenson expressed interest in volunteering for the next OERB Community STEM night and even discussed ways to bring more specific Coterra and energy industry activities to the event.
While Coterra’s station was busy all night, the most popular was the FIRST Robotics Competition, by far. The group brought out a dozen different types of robot and participants were able to take turns operating them. Other activities during the event included a DIY Polymer Putty, hydraulic rocket launcher, static electricity generator, electric circuitry, and a liquid nitrogen experiment. Devon Energy also brought out a mobile well site simulator.
In recognition of its partnership with Weatherford School district the OERB presented a $2000 donation to support additional STEM learning in the district. Coterra’s Jared Swenson joined Devon Energy and the OERB team to present the check.
Through voluntary funding from the oil and natural gas industry, the OERB works to bring Community STEM Nights to cities across Oklahoma. Coterra’s external affairs team is interested in hearing what school districts our employees belong to in Oklahoma so we can set up additional STEM and energy education opportunities in 2023.
Reposted, with permission, from Well Said Coterra.
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