Vol. 25, No. 1: Great Things Happening in the New Year

Oklahoma Education and Industry Partnership Program

A Governor's Oklahoma Science and Technology Council Initiative

A recently announced initiative in Oklahoma is seeking to enhance the state's economic growth by creating a partnership of educators, counselors, administrators, parents, students, industry leaders, policymakers, and members of the economic development community. The partnership's goals will be to provide relevance and rigor to STEM education and training and workforce development, motivate students to develop and maintain career pathways, and provide professional development for Oklahoma educators.

The initiative seeks to expose 100 Oklahoma 5–12 grade STEM teachers and counselors to three of the state's wealth-producing industrial sectors (aerospace/defense, energy, and agriculture/bioscience) by conducting a three-day series of workshops, presentations, field trips, networking opportunities, and discussion forums.

Events (tentatively scheduled for late July) will be held at Rose State College and other venues in Oklahoma City and Ardmore. Attendees will hear presentations, take field trips to industry locations, and participate in workshops and idea sharing sessions on how to use industry information in their classrooms. Each of the three target industry sectors will be the focus of a full day's activities.

The destinations of the proposed field trips will be:

  • the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and the 552 Air Control Wing on Tinker AFB or the Civilian Aerospace Medical Institute at the Mike Monroney FAA Center,

  • the Noble Research Foundation and Academy in Ardmore, and

  • an Oklahoma energy industry location.

Evening programs will include guest speakers and breakout sessions where attendees will discuss and make recommendations on issues impacting Oklahoma STEM education, and how information presented at the event can be used in their classrooms.

An executive steering committee is being appointed, to consist of representatives of the primary stakeholder entities. Committee representation will include the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance, the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission, the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, Coalition for the Advancement of Science and Math Education in Oklahoma, Oklahoma Career and Technical Education, the State Department of Education, Rose State College, and others, including Oklahoma teachers.

Sponsorships (to cover costs such as attendees' accommodations and transportation) are being requested from across the three industry sectors and the state's economic development community.

For more information, or to sponsor the initiative, contact Ben Robinson, chair of the planning committee, at sentryonellc@aol.com.

© 2015 CORD