New program takes high school students out of the classroom, into Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

OKLAHOMA CITY - Starting this year, every 9th grader in Oklahoma City Public Schools has gone through the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum to learn about Oklahoma's history through one of the worst disasters on American soil.

"I had the vision that I wanted every 9th grader in all of Oklahoma City to come to the memorial and museum forever from this day forward,” said Mike Turpen, chairman for Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.

Monday, John Marshall High School 9th graders came to the museum.

"Students from John Marshall High School weren't even born when the bomb went off 22 years ago. They need to come to this sacred ground and learn the unique history of Oklahoma City," Turpen said.

The program Called2Change started this school year.

The program cost $29,000 for school buses and admission for 2,500 students, all paid for by corporate donors.

For many students, like Ceje Staton, this is their first experience at the museum.

"I actually think this will help us, and it will give us a bigger insight of what really happened here in the town that we live in," Staton said.

"It shows what those people have sacrificed through and shows what our heroes can actually do," said Quatara Perry-Davis, 9th grade student at John Marshall High School.

Each 9th grader goes to the outside memorial, through the museum and into the Uncover-Discover Lab for STEM curriculum.

There, they learn the science and engineering of how the bombing happened.

"They actually talk about it and show it to us instead of just reading it in a book," Perry-Davis said.

It's an important part of Oklahoma's history being told on the soil it started.