Why is STEM programming important to the Ripken Foundation?

Dec 04, 2019

At the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, we honor the legacy of Cal Ripken, Sr. with youth development programs and parks across the country. But did you know that our kids are not only learning life lessons through sports-themed activities, they are also configuring electric circuits and programming computer chips?


The Ripken Foundation is committed to shaping the character and futures of children both on the field and in the classroom. In the present technological age, we believe it is important for kids to not only learn critical life skills through sports, but exposure to careers in STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering, Math—in an after-school setting that focuses on mentoring an interest in STEM-related activities creates new opportunities for academic and future growth in the kids we impact.


In 2016, we launched the Ripken Foundation STEM Initiative, building Ripken STEM Centers in 10 elementary schools. And now in 2019, we have expanded our impact to 56 Ripken STEM Centers nationwide impacting over 23,000 kids. 


This growth would not be possible, however, without the vision and support of corporate partners like Devon Energy. A leader in the petroleum business, Devon is also devoted to promoting early childhood STEM education. Uniting our shared desires to advance STEM learning, the Ripken Foundation in 2018 opened 33 STEM centers—one in every Oklahoma City public elementary school—made possible by Devon Energy and The Foundation for Oklahoma Public City Schools.

Recently, newly inducted Ripken Foundation Board Member and Devon Energy Vice President of Public & Government Affairs, Allen Wright, announced Devon’s commitment to open an additional 15 Ripken STEM centers across New Mexico in the next year. We hope that this is just the start of our explosive STEM expansion that is changing the way at-risk youth engage with STEM learning.