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Design Challenge Shows Off Tulsa Students STEM Skills

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Holt and her teammates jumped at the chance to design the latest engineering challenge to be displayed at the Tulsa Children's Museum. Holt and her teammates jumped at the chance to design the latest engineering challenge to be displayed at the Tulsa Children's Museum.
The opportunity gives them the chance to show off their projects to the public. The opportunity gives them the chance to show off their projects to the public.
Discovery Lab Director, Ray Vandiver. Discovery Lab Director, Ray Vandiver.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tapping into students’ minds to help them find their passions in science and math related fields is the goal of a partnership between some Green Country public schools and the Tulsa Children's Museum.

The latest installment of a design challenge on display at the Children’s Museum is a laser lab; it’s just one part of a larger picture aimed at helping students feel excited and confident to pursue certain careers at an early age.

Brooke Holt, an 11th grader from Broken Arrow, always knew she loved school, but said she didn’t know she wanted to get into the engineering field until she got a chance to take some classes.

“Once I started taking the program I learned I really liked it, and after that, I started taking the chemistry classes and I learned I really loved to do it,” she said.

Holt and her teammates jumped at the chance to design the latest engineering challenge to be displayed at the Tulsa Children's Museum.

“It is basically determining how light reflects. Even if you hit it at one angle it might reflect differently than what you think,” she explained.

Discovery Lab Director, Ray Vandiver, said, "One of the constraints in the design is it has to be fun and playful. I think they really get that and make their ideas really pop. They're great exhibit developers.”

And the number of students starting to show interest in the curriculum is growing; four groups entered last year and the next round there will be 28.

Jalinda Hogan said, "And this is really important for the kids because this is when they're figuring out what they really want to do."

The opportunity gives them the chance to show off their projects to the public.

"The opportunity to have their design put into a real life situation is phenomenal," Hogan said.

Right now the projects are in a temporary location. The permanent location will be at the Gathering Place once construction is finished to allow even more opportunities for STEM based programs to grow.

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