Free, Hands-on STEM Kits Now Available at Tulsa County Parks

Jaime WaltonFamilies, Front Page, STEM News, Students

STEM in a Bag Kiosks offer STEM activity kits to families across Tulsa

In a groundbreaking collaboration with Tulsa County Parks, we are thrilled to announce the launch of self-serve STEM in a Bag Kiosks. These innovative kiosks offer free, hands-on STEM kits for families and educators, embodying our commitment to making STEM education accessible to all. The initiative kicks off with installations at three prominent
Tulsa County Park locations: O’Brien Park in North Tulsa, Chandler Park in West Tulsa, and South County Recreation in Bixby.

Unlocking STEM Adventures for All Ages

Each month, these self-serve kiosks will feature a different themed hands-on kit, with hundreds available at each location. These kits are designed for use in parks, classrooms, or homes, fostering hands-on learning experiences for families, students, and both formal and informal educators. Conveniently located in the parks’ Community Centers, the kiosks are accessible during normal park operating hours, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Our STEM in a Bag program, launched in 2019, has evolved into a beacon of accessibility for high-quality STEM activities across northeast Oklahoma. Now, with installations at multiple Tulsa-area locations, these kits, crafted from inexpensive and common household items, empower learning anywhere, at any time.

Kim Watson, Tulsa County Parks’ Superintendent of Recreation, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “We are proud to partner with TRSA on the introduction of STEM in a Bag Kiosks, aiming to actively make STEM education accessible across Tulsa County, creating a brighter future for all.”

Enriching STEM Experiences for All Ages

Every STEM in a Bag activity explores fundamental STEM concepts such as engineering, computer science, mathematics, and natural science. Each kit is equipped with all the necessary materials and comprehensive instructions for a brief, hands-on experience, with the occasional need for a pencil or scissors. Furthermore, every activity highlights a STEM hero, features a list of recommended books, and aligns with Oklahoma Academic Standards. With instructions available in both English and Spanish, along with instructional videos for guidance, these kits are thoughtfully designed to be inclusive and accessible to a wider audience.

These kiosks serve a strong need, as only 30% of students see themselves as a STEM person. The kits aim to bridge the gap for marginalized and historically excluded groups, including Black, Indigenous, students of color, women, and rural students. The diverse range of subjects covered aims to inspire and prepare students, fostering a sense of belonging in STEM disciplines and careers. Additionally, by engaging with these activity kits, families can discover that STEM is everywhere, helping them build a strong STEM identity with their students and reinforcing the notion that STEM opportunities are accessible to all.

In celebration of Black History Month, February’s kit is “Agriculture in Action,” honoring George Washington Carver. Through this activity, students explore different soil types and identify crops suitable for local soil. Carver, an agricultural scientist, established the Agricultural Center at Tuskegee Institute and is renowned for inventions like crop rotation.

Levi Patrick, TRSA’s Executive Director, emphasized the importance of meaningful connections, stating, “When students can connect the scientific and mathematical concepts they learn to their lives and experiences, they envision themselves as future scientists and mathematicians. Seeing diverse individuals reflected in their learning materials further fuels this self-image. Being mathematical or scientific isn’t genetic, but it is contagious, and we’re so thankful to be able to spread the joy of STEM in a Bag across our community through this partnership.”

STEM in a Bag Kiosk Calendar:

  • February – Agriculture in Action
  • March – AlkaSeltzer Rockets
  • April – Backyard Biodiversity
  • May – Build a Bionic Hand
  • June – Design a Parachute
  • July – DIY Harmonica

To learn more about this initiative, visit