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MRO Helps Bring Ripken STEM Centers to North Dakota Elementary Schools

MRO Helps Bring Ripken STEM Centers to North Dakota Elementary Schools

May, 2023 — North Dakota

Every public school elementary-age student enrolled in Dickinson and the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation schools can now build their scientific skills and prepare for future careers thanks to new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) centers.

MRO partnered with Devon Energy, the Dickinson, ND School District, Flogistix and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) to outfit STEM centers with high-tech learning labs at six elementary schools in Dickinson, including Berg, Heart River, Jefferson, Prairie Rose, Roosevelt elementaries and DPS Early Childhood Preschool, as well as two Fort Berthold Indian Reservation schools including Parshall and White Shield elementaries.

Children exploring the new STEM Center at Parshall Elementary on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Martin Stuart, Vice President of Operations, attended the ribbon cutting for Dickinson Public Schools, where he gave brief remarks to all the students and guests in attendance. After the ribbon cutting, he engaged with students and saw the new STEM Center resources in action. The Dickinson Press highlighted the remarks he gave around the necessity of critical thinking and problem solving in education and in the workforce.

The exciting thing is that this STEM initiative integrates those two things into what you’re going to learn and by setting you up that way, it’s going to give you a great opportunity to impact the future.
Martin Stuart, VP of Operations, Marathon Oil

Martin Stuart, VP or Operations at Marathon Oil, helping students explore their new STEM Center.

Local news station KYFR aired coverage celebrating the STEM center openings.

Last August, we teamed up to install two Ripken STEM centers, the first in North Dakota at Lincoln Elementary, and the first on Tribal land at New Town’s Edwin Loe Elementary.

Devon, Flogistix, Marathon Oil and the Ripken Foundation stayed true to their promise last year to bring STEM centers to all of our town’s elementary schools. Thanks to their vision, every child in Dickinson is set up to develop STEM skills that can lead to lucrative career paths.
Dr. Marcus Lewton, Dickinson Public Schools Superintendent

Zac Weis, Government and Community Relations Manager at Marathon Oil, helping open New Town’s Edwin Loe Elementary STEM center in August, 2022.

This groundbreaking investment in the children of MHA Nation will truly change the trajectory of their lives. They will learn important skills vital to a successful workforce and discover big things are possible with time, talent and determination.
Mark Fox, MHA Nation Tribal Chairman

The STEM centers include innovative learning equipment like 3D printers, Snap Circuits, Ozobots and Bee-Bots. These tools help students hone their problem-solving abilities and stretch their imaginations.

As a part of opening the STEM Centers, CRSF provides training for teachers on the different technologies and how they can be integrated into their classes. The idea is for these items to complement what educators are already doing in the classroom—giving opportunities for students to build their STEM foundations across all their classes. For example, Bee Bots can be programmed by students to “buzz” over to different sight words in language arts or a social studies teacher can 3-D print replicas of historic items to bring lessons to life.

Students explore their new STEM Center at Parshall Elementary on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.

Steve Salem, President & CEO of the Ripken Foundation, said access to STEM equipment is vital to helping students understand the adult world.

The Ripken Foundation’s vision is to ensure as many children as possible have the resources they need to be successful in life. Expanding educational access in North Dakota means students will have greater opportunities.
Steve Salem, President & CEO of the Ripken Foundation

The Ripken Foundation provides training, a curriculum guidebook and activity kits to enhance the tools in the STEM centers. The organization has opened close to 300 STEM centers nationwide, helping strengthen America’s most underserved communities by supporting and advocating for children.