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From left, Park Junior High School Principal Cody Skinner, Dan Warner of Devon Energy, Artesia Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Federal Programs and Instruction Danny Parker, freshman science/biology teacher Erin Allen, eighth-grade science/STEM teacher Casey Crandall, Sherry Tabor and Randy Gladden of Devon, eighth-grade and freshman science teacher Ashley Mason, Ray Vaz of Devon, eighth-grade science/ag teacher Haley Montes, and Park Assistant Principal Dennis Garcia pose for a photo with the check. (Teresa Lemon – Daily Press)

Devon Energy surprised staff and students at Park Junior High School Thursday afternoon with a $15,000 Science Giants grant award.

Science Giants is Devon’s signature awards program, designed to recognize schools for helping students excel in science and preparing them for college and future careers.

Park will use the grant to purchase augmented reality workstations and 3D glasses to incorporate into their current zSpace STEM curriculum. The new equipment will engage students in virtual lab experiences where technology and science come together.

“Park Junior High School’s teachers demonstrated a strong commitment to enhancing science education for their students,” said Dan Werner, senior operations superintendent for Devon. “We’re excited for the experiences in science and technology the new augmented reality workstations and 3D glasses will bring the students.

“Science plays a critical role in not only our business but the world. Park is providing students with a foundation for further study and careers in science, and we’re pleased to help strengthen their classroom learning through our Science Giants awards program.”

Park Principal Cody Skinner says he is proud of his science staff and students, and also to be from a community so dedicated to supporting its youth.

“We’re very fortunate to live in the community we do, where we have generous companies like Devon that give back to the students of the community,” Skinner said. “I appreciate the fact that our teachers go out of their way, spending numerous hours working on grant applications like this in their own time before and after school, to help their students.”

In addition to the $15,000 awarded to Park, Devon also awarded $10,000 grants to New Hope High School in Lovington and Carlsbad Intermediate School.

Devon, along with many companies throughout the world, relies on highly educated scientists to discover and develop new technology and processes. Science Giants was created by Devon in 2010 to foster an interest in science among students across the country. As of 2018, Devon has donated $875,000 to schools across America to develop science education programs. In early 2018, $195,000 in grants will be distributed to winning schools in hopes of providing an opportunity to create science studies that will engage students and prepare them for a career in the field.

For more information on Devon Energy, visit www.devonenergy.com.