Eastern Oregon University > Academics > OMSI promotes science education and engagement with students throughout Eastern Oregon

OMSI promotes science education and engagement with students throughout Eastern Oregon

Sept. 13, 2023

OMSI promotes science education and engagement with students throughout Eastern Oregon

LA GRANDE, Ore. – Eastern Oregon is about to get a blast of science education.

The Oregon Museum of of Science and Industry (OMSI) has created a position for a traveling science enthusiast that will bring science education to even the most remote locations, in the most rural parts of the state. 

“I’ll be traveling all over Eastern Oregon,” Tyler McRae said. “My job is to talk to people and find out where there are gaps and find out where we (OMSI) can partner.” 

In January of 2022 Eastern Oregon University (EOU) and OMSI helped launch the Mobile Maker Lab (MML), Eastern Oregon University hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the classroom on wheels, with hands-on STEM learning activities, a career-connected learning curriculum, and an open concept of tinkering with STEM-related tools and materials. The Mobile Maker Lab was created with the mission of making STEM education accessible to all students across Eastern Oregon, no matter how remote their location. 

GO STEM is a program of the College of Education, designed and developed at EOU.

McRae’s new position takes that mission of making science education accessible – even further. 

“One of the goals of this position is to have a more consistent presence in eastern Oregon,” McRae said. “This is the first time OMSI has had this position.”

McRay called the position a “win-win.” 

Much of his time will be spent in classrooms, “There’s usually things I can bring to the classroom that are exciting and new, I’m excited about that,” McRae said. 

McRae, who has been in the position since May said he was excited for the school year to begin, to see where it goes. 

Because of distance, resources, and population, McRae said there are gaps in science education, he hopes his position can help narrow some of those gaps. 

“The Greater Oregon STEM Hub (GO STEM), part of the College of Education at EOU has worked to develop a strong partnership with OMSI to co-develop and deliver programming as part of the GO STEM Mobile Maker Lab efforts to better serve students, communities, and educational entities – which is especially important in the far-reaching and rural regions of Eastern Oregon. GO STEM and OMSI are excited to provide deeper opportunities for Eastern Oregon youth to access hands-on STEM education and connections to future careers. We are very excited to have Tyler McRae join our MML team.” GO STEM Executive Director David Melville said.

The Montana native has experience in outdoor education, the Youth Conservation Corps, and different types of non-traditional education.