Innovation in the Classroom
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Show 1623: Innovation in the Classroom
Air Date: June 5, 2016
Rob McClendon: Well, innovation requires independent thinking and the ability to work outside the comforts of predictability and security. And that’s a challenging proposition not only in the workplace but also in the classroom. Joining me now is our Courtney Maye.
Courtney: Bartlesville, Oklahoma’s largest employer is investing in the future of their workforce by creating new styles of learning. Phillips 66 donated $1.7 million to Bartlesville High School for innovation labs in an effort to expand science, technology, engineering and math education.
Courtney Maye: When it comes to STEM education, Bartlesville High School can rival any schools in the nation thanks to a generous contribution from the area’s largest employer Phillips 66.
Merl Lindstrom: We’re putting in laboratories, hands-on laboratories, that will have everything from computers to hard equipment to build things so they can actually get some hands-on experience as engineers and chemists.
Courtney: Merl Lindstrom is the vice president of technology for Phillips 66, and he says building these STEM labs gets students interested in pursuing a career in a STEM field.
Lindstrom: It’s an investment in the future. You have to do it for a company like ours that’s so technology-driven and so focused on engineering. We hire hundreds of engineers every year.
Courtney: State School Superintendent Joy Hofmeister toured the Bartlesville High School innovation labs during a press conference and showcase event held by Phillips 66. And she says the training these students are receiving is setting the tone for high school STEM education.
Joy Hofmeister: This is a great step forward in giving them the opportunity to do something that perhaps other kids outside of this area haven’t had an opportunity to see modeled in front of them.
Courtney: Students take research-based, hands-on courses such as Introduction to Engineering and Design, Exploring Computer Science and Advanced Math Applications through which scientists with Phillips 66 can mentor students. LaDonna Chancellor is the principal at Bartlesville High School.
LaDonna Chancellor: It helps kids discover new ideas that they hadn’t even thought about before, new paths for college, new paths for a career down the road that maybe they haven’t even thought of before.
Courtney: And this is all by design from Phillips 66 itself. CEO Greg Garland says the company has taken on education as a primary focus.
Greg Garland: We’ve taken on literacy as a primary effort as our company, just nationwide, and we want to impact the local community where we live and operate. We have nearly 2,000 employees here in Bartlesville, and so we want to make sure that Bartlesville’s a strong place. We want to be able to recruit people to Bartlesville – a great place to raise a family, a great place to work, and education is a key part of that.