Interest is growing in Tulsa's science high school

Tuesday, February 5th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A Tulsa high school has issued its progress report, just half way through the new year.

The Tulsa School for Science and Technology is hoping to drum up interest in its cutting-edge curriculum. News on Six anchor Scott Thompson tells us how the school is doing.

Cecilia Martinez, freshman, “It's really hands on. You do the stuff, you build it. You can learn from your mistakes." More than 300 freshmen are enrolled in the new curriculum at the Tulsa School for Science and Technology. At an open house, prospective students and their parents got a look at the transformation of the old McLain high school and all it has to offer. The school boasts some of the best lab facilities in the Tulsa school district, outfitted with equipment and materials donated by the schools many business and community sponsors.

Laqueta Hill, freshman, "The energy lab is the best. Because we did a lot of hands on. We built batteries and we built towers and we built places. More science, more energy, more things like that. We do more hands on kind of things, experiments and stuff like that." Principal Cynthia Macarevich is happy to see all the enthusiasm. “To have 85 students request a transfer to come specifically for this program representing all the middle schools from throughout the district was really exciting."

Erick Dyer was one of those transfers. He opted for the opportunities at TSST over East Central. "We wouldn't have had this technology lab, for one. Probably wouldn't have been as hands on and as advanced.” Not everyone at the school is enrolled in the new curriculum. The integration will be gradual beginning with this year's freshman class and continuing with each new freshman class.

Within three years, all of the students at TSST will be studying specialized science and technology courses. The school had hoped to have 400 freshmen enrolled in the science and technology courses this year, but fell short with about 320.Macarevich hopes more will enroll after seeing what she has to offer. "I think next year is going to be a critical year for this program. Two years into the program, really giving people an opportunity to see what it is we're doing."

Along with the energy, telecommunications and material sciences labs, Tulsa Science High will add an optics lab, an instrument and measurements lab and a biotechnology lab next year.