ARTESIA — Bee-Bots are buzzing in all Artesia elementary schools, thanks to a partnership between Devon Energy, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, the Estelle H. Yates Foundation, and the Chase Foundation.
The four organizations brought mobile science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) centers to all five Artesia Public Schools elementary schools, as well as Grand Heights Early Childhood Center and the Artesia Public Library, for a total of seven STEM centers.
Community leaders celebrated the unveilings with an assembly at Hermosa Elementary School and a demonstration of the state-of-the-art equipment.
Students’ faces lit up when tinkering with the products, which included 3D printers, Code Hoppers, Snap Circuits, Bee-Bots and Ozobots.
The Ripken Foundation also provided STEM coordinator training, a curriculum guidebook, and various activity kits to enhance the use of technology tools.
“Introducing elementary students to STEM through these tools helps develop their critical-thinking skills from a young age and set them up for future success,”
said John Ross Null, APS superintendent. “We’re witnessing a historic moment for Artesia students — one which will impact them for years to come.”
Senior community relations specialist Shannon Johnson said Devon is committed to bolstering educational opportunities in the company’s operating areas.
“Devon wants to inspire future STEM leaders by helping local kids express their creativity and hone their technological skills,” Johnson said. “Through our partnership with the Ripken Foundation, we’re able to spark Artesia students’ imaginations and encourage them to follow their dreams.”
The Ripken Foundation has installed 56 state-ofthe- art centers across the country through its STEM initiative, which aims to increase the number of minority and at-risk youth pursuing higher education and careers in STEM-related fields.
Steve Salem, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation president and CEO, said the organization’s goal is to help children build positive relationships and discover STEM fields.
“Learning life lessons like teamwork, respect and resilience is an important part of STEM education,”
Salem said. “Partnering with Devon, the Estelle H.
Yates Foundation and the Chase Foundation allows us to give young minds the equipment they need to explore different scientific areas and achieve their full potential.”
Devon and the Ripken Foundation partnered last fall to open southeastern New Mexico’s first STEM centers at Broadmoor and College Lane elementaries in Hobbs and at the Boys & Girls Club of Carlsbad, which serves more than 100 elementary students daily.
“The Estelle H. Yates Foundation has a rich history of supporting the Artesia community through funding education, science and technology initiatives,” said Sandra Borges of the Estelle H. Yates Foundation.
“Collaborating with Devon Energy and the Ripken Foundation on this project made perfect sense. We can’t wait to see how these new STEM centers will benefit Artesia’s children for generations.”