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The nation depends on Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry. The industry depends on the hard-working Oklahomans who drive us forward with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Kingfisher’s Community STEM Night shared the power of this relationship with Oklahoma’s next generation of bright minds. Hundreds of students, educators and parents participated in interactive exhibits built to showcase how some of the state’s largest industries rely on STEM concepts.

Through the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB), industry partners sponsor and volunteer at Community STEM Nights throughout the year to spark students’ interest in pursuing careers in these fields, including the oil and natural gas industry.

“This is the future generation, the future of our industry and our workforce,” says Christina Rehkop, Director of Community Relations at Devon Energy. “Anything we can do to inspire kids to want to learn math and science is really important.”

From drilling, pipeline and refinery exhibits and activities to agriculture, robotics and state museums, all exhibits give students a look at the exciting careers available in Oklahoma.

“This gets them excited and thrilled about learning,” says Jay Snowden, Computer Repair and Networking Instructor at Chisholm Trail Technology Center. “Which gives students that opportunity to start on a path they may really enjoy and may not have known otherwise.”

For others, Community STEM Nights showcase the power of oil and natural gas in their own lives. Brian Long says he wanted his son, Blayne, to learn more about the industry powering his home state.

“My son needs to learn about the oil and gas around us,” he says. “Plus, he gets to have fun, and he’s all about that.”

Whether kids are just there to have fun and enjoy the activities or are there to learn more about STEM careers, industry leaders are happy to support the community.

“It’s great to be here and help inspire the young— to let them learn and have fun,” says Colin Feik, Production Engineer at Flywheel Energy. “Hopefully they have a good time, and that’s the goal of it — just be a good force for the community.”

To see more ways Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry powers and inspires communities across the state, watch this video.

EnergyHQ is powered by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board – OERB – which is voluntarily funded by the state's oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners. The OERB provides free environmental restoration of abandoned well sites and works to educate the state's citizens about the oil and natural gas industry. For more on the OERB's mission and how it is funded, visit OERB.com.