Generous gifts from the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) and The Boeing Company will facilitate the expansion of Oklahoma STEM education programs built around OETA’s Emmy award-winning “What’s the Deal?” digital series for students in grades 4-8.
Daphne Dowdy, OETA Foundation President and CEO, announced that the gifts will support “What’s the Deal?” season three, featuring eight fun and engaging lessons on science, technology, engineering and math concepts associated with air and space.
“The public school and home school programs currently using the ‘What’s the Deal?’ series tell us they are enthusiastic about its capacity to get students excited about STEM learning. With the support of OAEC and Boeing, we will be able to expand the STEM resources we provide at no cost to Oklahoma schools, teachers and home school programs.”
The funds will also be used to develop free curriculum guides for teachers and provide classrooms with free experiment kits filled with components to allow each student to conduct hands-on experiments so they may better understand “What’s the Deal?” scientific principles.
“We here at OAEC feel like we have a trusted partner working beside us to help educate the next generation of Oklahomans,” said Sid Sperry, Director of Public Relations, Communications and Research for OAEC. “’What’s the Deal?’ helps young, avid and enthusiastic viewers learn more about current topics affecting their future.”
“Boeing is proud to support community partners who create innovative opportunities for students to learn,” said Mikeal Clayton, Boeing Oklahoma Site Leader and Senior Counsel. “Educational programming such as ‘What’s the Deal?’ provides an engaging method of stimulating student interest in STEM concepts. In this way, we chart the course for developing the thinkers and leaders who will lead us into the next century and beyond.”
Hosted by series creator, Jessi Crino, “What’s the Deal?” explores the math and science that makes everyday things work. Teachers and families can find episodes and free curriculum guides for Seasons One and Two, created in partnership with the Oklahoma Department of Education here.
Season One of “What’s the Deal?,” “Tales of the Tower,” examines the deconstruction of the 1572-foot KWTV broadcast tower, where OETA equipment was located for 50 years. With these episodes, students explore the electricity and radio frequencies that make a broadcast tower work, the physics and math of guy wires, and the calculations (weight, balance, wind) involved in bringing down such a tall tower. Season Two, the current season, is an “Oklahoma Road Trip” featuring lessons filmed across Oklahoma,
including the geology that created Black Mesa, how wind turbines generate electricity, and how the Archimedes Principle keeps heavy cargo ships and barges afloat on Oklahoma rivers.
“What’s the Deal?” Season Three, “Air and Space,” will be available in the 2018-19 academic year and will focus on the science of air and space travel. Students will learn about the principles of force, why our ears pop on planes, and how electromagnetic waves determine distance, direction and speed.
OETA Foundation continues to raise funds in support of “What’s the Deal?” and its free resources for teachers, students and parents. The Foundation is seeking support for the fourth season of “What’s the Deal?” as well as additional “Air and Space” and “Oklahoma Road Show” experiment kits. For more information about supporting this exciting STEM initiative for Oklahoma fourth through eighth grade students, please contact Lisa Ondak at (405) 841-9288.