photos and story by Jacob Factor
Luther High School and science won the day when representatives from Devon Energy surprised the school with the announcement of a $25,000 grant.
Students gathered in the auditorium at the end of the school day Thursday for what was billed as a pep assembly. The band and cheerleaders brought the pep while they led the student body in the school’s fight song.
“We’re pleased to award this grant to Luther High to enhance science education for students in earth science, engineering and geology,” said Allen Wright, Devon’s vice president for public and government affairs.
“Science plays an important role in our business at Devon, and we want to encourage the next generation. With these new projects, great things are ahead for students at Luther High,” said Wright.
The announcement surprised Dr. Jessica Sigle, chemistry, ecology and physical science teacher. With tears in her eyes, she said, “You have no idea how much I love these kids,” as she accepted the award. She prepared the grant along wither her fellow faculty members Bert Bishop, Amanda Grogan and Geoffrey Agan.
Sigle earned her doctorate in chemistry from Oklahoma State University and this is her first year at Luther High School. Luther’s application was chosen from more than 20 other grant proposals in Devon’s Science Giants initiative.
She said her proposal, written from the heart, proposed starting a robotics club to give LHS students an “edge” and to build students’ understanding of the subject, and the wide array of opportunities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects.
Dr. Sigle also wants to build collaboration between the physics and math classes to show students that “there’s more to physics than just science.”
Devon says it has invested nearly $600,000 in school projects in the US since 2008. Last year’s winner for central Oklahoma was Harding Fine Arts Academy who used the money for lab and classroom equipment.
“This Devon Science Giants grant is a great supplement to the current curriculum. It will allow us to inspire and encourage students’ natural curiosity by providing more hands-on experiences,” said Jerry Martin, Luther High’s principal.
The event was broadcast live on Facebook by the Luther Register. Watch it here!
Very cool and congratulations to Dr. Jessica for her efforts. The students, their parents and the school should be very proud and grateful to have this talented individual on their team. I’m curious – what is the significance of the ammonite fossil cast on the trophy?
Thanks for the comment Chris! I wondered the significance as well … but of course I wouldn’t have known to call it ammonite fossil! I’ll ask Devon’s public relations folks about it.