STEM Graduates Sign With Colleges
7/3/2014 10:33 AM
Tulsa Tech recently held a reception similar to an athletic scholarship signing day to recognize many of the college-bound graduates of the schools prestigious STEM Academy. Representatives from area colleges and universities, along with former instructors, family and friends all gathered to honor the students as they each signed letters of intent.
The STEM Academy not only allows students to explore the fascinating world that lies between scientific discoveries and their commercial applications, but also challenges students to create real-life solutions for real-world problems through engaging and hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum.
Nicholas Johnson, a home-schooled senior from Owasso who will be attending the University of Tulsa next fall to study petroleum engineering, feels the program offers many benefits for all college-bound students, regardless of their specific interests.
“I really think the program is one of the best opportunities for high school students who enjoy science and math, even if they don’t necessarily plan on studying engineering” Johnson said. “The program is challenging but also gave us the freedom to grow and practice many of the problem-solving skills required for college.”
Madeline Layland, a Union High School senior who’s headed to Oklahoma State University to study architecture, feels the diversity of the program’s curriculum helped her narrow her focus and define her goal of helping others after college.
“I had the chance to experience so many different areas of engineering and decide what I want to do in the future,” Layland explained. “I decided to study architecture with the goal of one day hopefully designing buildings and spaces that could improve the quality of life for communities which are made up largely of people in need.”
The rigorous program provides an opportunity for students to learn how engineers apply the theories and principles of science and mathematics to research and develop economical solutions to technical problems through the study of engineering design, digital electronics, principles of engineering, computer integrated manufacturing, and engineering design and development.
Shea Ferrell, Director of the STEM Academy at Tulsa Tech, feels that the way the program is taught to students is equally as important as the content of the curriculum.
“It is not just the subject content that the acronym represents; science, technology, engineering and math, but rather in the manner in which it’s taught,” Ferrell said. “There’s problem solving through relevant and meaningful projects where students work collaboratively and inquisitively to find solutions, test them, re-think or re-design them, re-test them, and ultimately present them to other groups.”
Logan Smalley, a Bixby High School senior enrolled at the University of Oklahoma to study petroleum engineering, enjoyed the chance to prepare for college with this unique hands-on learning style.
“I initially chose the Academy because I thought it would really help me prepare for college,” Smalley said. “But I’ve really enjoyed all of the projects and the amount of time we spent actually getting to do what we’re learning.”
In addition to the program’s standard curriculum, the Academy graduates, like all students at Tulsa Tech, have the added benefit of participating in one of the school’s many student organizations. Cheri Alger, a senior at Jenks High School and soon to be freshman at Oklahoma State University studying aerospace engineering, believes participating in these organizations are as beneficial as the program itself.
“Student organizations provide an opportunity to learn leadership skills,” Alger said. “They also give us a chance to socialize with like-minded people, meet people who are interested in the same types of careers, and provide a fun way to participate in many volunteer projects for our community.”
Tulsa Tech congratulates all of the STEM Academy graduates and we wish them the best as they continue their education.
If you’re currently looking for exciting classes for high school and adult students, quality business and industry training, or an opportunity to engineer a new career, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call 918-828-5000 or visit us online at tulsatech.edu.