Cal Ripken, Jr. Visits Tulsa To Celebrate 47 Ripken STEM Centers

Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Junior is in Tulsa on Thursday to celebrate the opening of 47 STEM centers around the city. The centers work to get students interested in careers involving science, technology, engineering, and math.

Thursday, September 8th 2022, 5:23 pm

By: News On 6


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Major League Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. came to Hawthorne Elementary in Tulsa Thursday to check out the new STEM center that he helped create.

Students at Hawthorne Elementary couldn't contain their excitement as they checked out their new STEM center filled with gadgets, building blocks, and robots.

"The greatest thing about this is exposing their little science minds to things they can build off of," Ripken Jr. said

Ripken Jr. partnered with Devon Energy to open the facilities during the pandemic, through the Cal Ripken Senior Foundation. He says he hopes these kids can see STEM projects with the same enthusiasm he had for baseball.

"In school, If you can make it fun and kind of get them really curious at an early age then it becomes...not hard work it just becomes fun," Ripken Jr. said. "It builds a nice base for your education."

TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist says it's amazing to have a high-profile athlete like Ripken Jr. in Tulsa energizing the kids about learning. Which she says is already raking effect in the classroom.

"You can really see already in just these few minutes the way in which students are going to benefit tremendously from these STEM centers," Gist said.

Ripken Jr. says he got his passion for helping kids from his dad and that if he can continue his dad's legacy by teaching kids about passion and hard work through STEM, it's a win for him.

"I would have never thought being a baseball background that we would move in there to help kids in this way," Ripken said "It's the most enjoyable and it's the most satisfying."

For more information about the program or the Cal Ripkin Sr. Foundation CLICK HERE

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