The Ponca City Public School district received a grant in excess of $600,000 from Phillips 66 to purchase ST (Spatial Temporal) Math licenses for all students in prekindergarten through 7th grade. The grant also included 3D printers for schools, iPads for the pre-K center, professional development for employees, and other supporting hardware totaling over $185,000.
Through this grant, schools will have the opportunity to incorporate ST Math into their curriculum. Superintendent of Schools Dr. David Pennington met with Phillips 66 Plant Manager Tim Seidel for a demonstration of students using ST Math in the classroom. They visited Dana Castleman’s class at Lincoln Elementary and Kelli Ford’s class at West Middle school.
“Ponca City is the only school district in Oklahoma fortunate enough to have ST Math,” said Dr. Pennington. “We appreciate Phillips 66 bringing the program to us and committing more than $450,000 towards the program and supporting technology. Additionally, Phillips 66 has agreed to help pay the license renewal fee for the next three years if needed. Our teachers and students will have access to a tool that we know will increase students’ math skills and make learning fun.”
Tim Seidel, Diane Anderson (PCR Community Relations), Dr. Pennington, and Barbara Cusick (Ponca City Schools Director of Curriculum) and Teri Vogele, Associate Director of Curriculum visited students at Lincoln Elementary and West Middle to view first-hand how the program was being received and how it is helping students be more engaged and teachers to be able to teach math at several different levels. “We are excited to bring our Ponca City teachers this new tool and program to teach our students math,” said Tim Seidel. “I believe that through the application of ST MATH, we will identify opportunities and provide immediate benefits that will help students on an individual basis. Moreover, it will give teachers and students more flexibility and allow students to advance their math skills at an accelerated rate. Through this program, we hope to instill a love of math and create tomorrow’s problem solvers.”
Phillips 66 supports K-12 educational programs, specifically those that promote literacy, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education and an understanding of business and the energy industry. Phillips 66 partners with the MIND Research Institute, which is a nonprofit that develops visually-based software to enhance learning and bring visual math instruction and game-based learning to local schools.
ST Math is a game-based software designed to help students and enhance student comprehension and proficiency through visual learning. Students are able to learn at their own pace and to incorporate problem solving into their math lessons. ST Math utilizes a game concept that is interactive and has graphic animations that according to Mind Research, “visually represents mathematical concepts to improve conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills.”