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gROW Tulsa RowingSTEM Outreach

Help Us Expand Rowing Outreach and Inclusion In Tulsa

gROW Tulsa Outreach Program

For many students, the sport of rowing is not accessible. The gROW Tulsa Rowing STEM outreach program provides students with access not only to the sport but also to related STEM concepts which, together, can enhance academic outcomes. 

To support this important effort, please contact TYRA Outreach Director Neil Bergenroth at neil@okrowing.org

>> Download gROW Tulsa Brochure <<

Help Us Provide More Opportunity By Supporting Our Growth

The gROW Tulsa STEM program has expanded from one to three schools in its first two years. The program allows a greater level of access to the sport of rowing in the Tulsa community, combined with a comprehensive STEM curriculum. Participants learn how to use rowing machines and engage in activities that aim to help develop knowledge of science and mathematics through the use of the rowing data generated by the rowing machines. 

gROW Tulsa – The Story So Far

In the upcoming third year, TYRA seeks to expand programs into the Union School District, and we are looking for partners to help support this expansion. 

Estimated costs for one program are $8,000 for an initial set up.
Subsequent year costs are considerably less and provide funds for teacher professional development to help implement each program. 

This includes all of the equipment such as rowing machines, mobile devices, and supplementary equipment to ensure the program operates at maximum effectiveness. A large portion of the cost is the $5k needed to purchase the six rowing machines for each program. 

What We Have Accomplished So Far

Two years ago, TYRA joined with the Opportunity Project to offer after school rowing with a STEM component.  Working with the Opportunity Project, we completed an afterschool pilot program at Hale Middle School during the Fall of 2018 and repeated the program in the Spring.  The pilot program lasted six weeks and provided students the opportunity to benefit from the physical activity of rowing on machines stationed at the school, from interactions with adult rowing experts who guide them through games and challenges on the machines and from engaging in some of the academic lessons resulting from their rowing activity.  The program was open to all students making academic progress and is a part of several after school options available to students through the Opportunity Project.  In 2019, we introduced the program to Rogers, Webster and Carver Middle schools. 

Although we were unable to offer the program for the second half of Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to leverage it to obtain an Erg Ed grant from the George Pocock Rowing Foundation and USRowing to place 20 machines in TPS schools, along with training for Tulsa Public School educators, a comprehensive and nationally recognized curriculum. Over 70% of the student body at these schools are black, Hispanic, or Native American, groups that have not traditionally been able to participate in rowing. 

Erg Ed
Erg Ed in action, photo courtesy of the George Pocock Rowing Foundation

As part of a 5- year grant commitment, GPRF, USRowing, Tulsa Public Schools and TYRA will work towards leveraging the in-school programs to provide access to “on the water” activities through a recreational or competitive rowing team.  We also intend to continue our collaboration with the Opportunity Project at a number of TPS schools. Our goal ultimately is for as many students who want to row on a program to have the opportunity to do so, regardless of their financial capabilities.  These in-school and after-school introductory programs represent a compelling opportunity to introduce rowing to students, and hopefully lead some to embrace the sport through high school and college and realize the academic, athletic and career benefits of doing so.  

Supporting Programs In Union Public Schools

We have now been approached by Union Public Schools to provide rowing machines and related equipment and training for their use during physical education classes.  Over 50% of the student body at these schools is black, Hispanic, or Native American – again, groups that have not traditionally been able to participate in rowing.  We believe that the development model that we’ve implemented for TPS can be applied to Union, with the same potential benefits to Union students. We believe that the development model that we’ve implemented for TPS can be applied to Union, with the same potential benefits to Union students.

The program is supported by an iOS app called RowingSTEM which is currently available for download on the app store. In addition, RowingSTEM will be released in the near future for Android devices which will help bring the cost down and provide a broader range of devices for implementation of this program. 

>> Download gROW Tulsa Brochure <<

Tulsa Youth Rowing Association (TYRA) hereby requests your support to extend our gROW Tulsa outreach program to Union Public Schools.  As explained in the attached brochure, the project is designed to provide comprehensive access to physical activity, academic support, and teamwork to the communities served by our rowing club and increased activity along the Arkansas River corridor.

To support this important effort, please contact TYRA Outreach Director Neil Bergenroth at neil@okrowing.org

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