Twelve Keota junior and senior GEAR UP students recently visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum in Oklahoma City. The students began their visit with a guided tour of the outdoor memorial by Ranger Jared Wahkinney. He taught the significance of the memorial and its setup, including the Field of Empty Chairs, the Reflecting Pool, and the Survivor Tree. From there, the students went into the forensics STEM Lab, where they learned about the investigation. During their time in the lab, they participated in group activities, learning what it took for the arrest and conviction of all persons involved in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Then the students took a self-guided tour through the museum, learning more about why the bombing occurred, the individuals who lost their lives, and those who rushed in to help. Students stated it made an impact on their life. Before returning to Keota, the students enjoyed an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Golden Corral.
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant in 2017 and will serve over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.