Fostering educational development of students with exceptional potential and interest in science and mathematics and serving all Oklahoma schools/students through research, teacher training and outreach.
Please call OSSM Director of Development at (405) 522-7804 to:
Thank you for your support!
The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) is a state funded, residential high school for students with exceptional ability in science and math who plan to pursue careers in science and technology. Tuition, room and board, and books are provided for accepted Oklahoma residents by the State of Oklahoma.
All courses taught at OSSM, with the exception of Physical Education and Fine Arts, are college level classes. Biology offerings include such courses as Human Anatomy and Physiology, Ecology, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Botany, Histology, and Endocrinology. Chemistry selections include Organic Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Polymers, and Nuclear Chemistry. The Physics Department teaches General Physics, Modern Physics, Electronics, Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Astronomy. Math courses range from Pre-Calculus through Multivariate Calculus. There is also a wide range of computer science courses, earth sciences, humanities, and foreign language including Latin, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. Students are required to take a minimum of seven classes a semester and to take two years of Physical Education and complete 60 hours of community service. Many find time to participate in OSSM’s Mentorship Program that gives them the opportunity to do concentrated research or project development under the direction of professionals in the scientific community. Courses are taught by an ethnically diverse, accomplished, dedicated faculty – most of whom hold doctorates in their fields and have taught at the college level.
The late Dr. Julian Stanley, a nationally known expert on gifted education, called OSSM “the most rigorous academic program of its kind in the nation.” This is evidenced by the success of OSSM students in national and international academic competitions and by the aggressive recruitment efforts of some of the nation's most prestigious universities.
OSSM is located on a 32-acre campus in Oklahoma City. A renovated Oklahoma City public school holds classes, and students live in the Dan Little Residence Hall, opened in early 1998. The school’s gymnasium opened in March of 1999, and the Samson Science and Discovery Center, which houses physics and chemistry teaching labs, research labs, and faculty offices, opened in 2001. The Senator Bernice Shedrick Library, opened in 2002, holds 50,000 volumes and provides space for administrative offices. An addition to the residence hall completed in 2014 doubled OSSM's capacity to house additional students as the Oklahoma Legislature allows.
OSSM helps Oklahoma students talented in math and science develop their skills to the highest degree possible in high school and beyond. Since OSSM is a public school charging no tuition or fees, students are selected without regard to family financial resources. OSSM alumni, in turn, are steadily strengthening Oklahoma’s resources in science, technical, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and contributing substantially to our state’s economic development.
As of June 2016, OSSM has graduated 1,535 students since 1992. Approximately one-half of them are still involved in completing their educational and professional training.
A recent independent study found OSSM and its alumni already stimulating some $40 million annually in economic impact in Oklahoma, and that number is increasing with every graduating class!
OSSM President Dr. Frank Wang’s major goals continue to be:
1) to maintain and build upon the solid foundation of academic excellence for which OSSM is known;
2) to find ways OSSM can generate revenues and be more fiscally self-sufficient; and
3) to find ways OSSM can impact and benefit more students, especially those areas of the state where advanced math and science instruction may not be readily available
For example, OSSM opened a Virtual Regional Center this school year whereby students receive live instruction via readily available and free video conferencing software like Skype. Uniquely, this instruction is combined with full hands-on labs conducted in person with all students by our traveling instructor at least once a month. One Virtual Regional Center student, the son of farmers in Medford, was the only student in the state to be accepted this year by both Harvard and Yale. Being a “hands on” person, Dr. Wang personally drove to the young man’s school in Blackwell to help him prepare for the AP Calculus exam at the beginning of May.
To become more self-sufficient, OSSM now offers high-end residential summer programs for paying students. We are so grateful to Williams Companies for making scholarships available for Oklahoma students with limited family resources to attend this week at the end of July filled with academic challenge and fun.
In January 2016, OSSM began taking a limited number of paying students from out-of-state to attend OSSM during the regular school year (maximum 10% of our enrollment). This program is developing slowly. We anticipate these numbers will grow steadily as word spreads of positive experiences by non-resident students. No Oklahoma student will lose their place—In fact, funds earned through this program will help OSSM fill budget gaps and allow OSSM to serve more Oklahoma resident students!
Please read Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) president Stephen Prescott’s recent Op-Ed piece in the Sunday Oklahoman titled The Business of Health: Nerds: The Fuel for Oklahoma’s Economic Engine.
Most OSSM students stay in Oklahoma for college and career. A recent independent study by Oklahoma City University finds our graduates stimulating some $40 million annually in economic activity in Oklahoma. OSSM is an economic engine for our state!
OSSM helps students with innate talent for math and science develop that potential as far as they possibly can in high school and beyond. That, without doubt, is win-win for us all!
The Bridge Fund, established in 2000 by the OSSM Foundation Board to help retain our outstanding faculty, supplements faculty salaries through annual stipends. As a state agency, OSSM salary increases are controlled by the state legislature, and faculty salaries have not remained competitive over the years. Our faculty is the backbone of OSSM. Eighty percent of our teaching faculty hold doctorates in the disciplines they teach. All are teaching college-level curriculum, and many are staffing more than their own full time position to help OSSM weather budgetary constraints while maintaining the world class level of quality for which the school is known. Faculty members tutor students weekly in evening study halls, mentor seniors in individual research projects, and often become life-long friends. One long-time teacher has often said that “working for OSSM is not a job – it’s a way of life.” It is imperative to the continued success of the OSSM program that we keep these remarkable men and women on staff.
OSSM students are totally immersed in studies that are academically years ahead of a normal high school curriculum. They are focused, competitive, and devoted to academic excellence. The Fine Arts program at OSSM provides an outlet for their creative talents. Though they may not seek careers in the arts, they will be consumers and supporters of the arts throughout their lives. Students must enroll in a Fine Arts class for one or more semesters each year as required for graduation. Classes are pre-arranged and include specialized areas of art, music, theatre, photography, and dance, as well as period exposure to cultural and performing events.
OSSM will provide a well-rounded basic arts program, including instruction and supplies for specialized areas of art, music, theatre, photography, and dance, as well as period exposure to cultural or performing arts events.
"I have learned something from every session. This program will help me walk into the classroom this coming year as a different teacher."
"The physics labs were great, and I liked the hands-on chemistry labs, too. Geology info was helpful because I'm much less well versed in 'rocks.'"
"The program was outstanding. Keep looking for more inexpensive lab activities for the classroom. These are priceless to the typical public school teacher."
In 2012, 160 students filled all of came from all areas of Oklahoma, many strengthening and enhancing their skills with more than one workshop. Attendees included 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th graders from 35 schools (22 public, 13 private) in 14 counties.
In appreciation for the far-sighted vision of then State Representative Penny Williams, who in 1983 authored House Bill 1286 which created the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics, the Senator Penny Williams Distinguished Lecture Series was begun to bring national and international figures in the arts and sciences to the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics.
These lectures bring together OSSM students and interested people from the local scientific, arts, academic, and greater community to hear some of the latest ideas in arts and science.
The contribution of ideas of these outstanding speakers to our state’s intellectual milieu educates the community, sparks the imaginations and passions of our students, and is the greatest and most appropriate gratitude we can offer Senator Williams.
We need your help! We are looking at the Oklahoma Legislature to implement cuts in budget again this coming year, which means an eighth year without any pay increases and doing more with less due to several cost increases. After 2008, OSSM lost 25% of its state-funded positions—19 people—across our OKC campus and Regional Centers. Yet, we have continued to operate at the highest levels of academic excellence we have always maintained—You can imagine the level of dedication and commitment this achievement has required from all who remain.
Dr. Frank Y. H. Wang joined the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics as President in August, 2012, succeeding Dr. Edna McDuffie Manning, the school’s founding president.
Wang earned his Bachelor of Arts in Math from Princeton University in 1986 and his Doctorate in Pure Math from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991. As a graduate student, he co-authored a widely used high school calculus textbook. After graduation from MIT, he went to work at Saxon Publishers, Inc., where he later became its president in 1994. Under Wang’s leadership, Saxon Publishers grew to become a major textbook publisher, with 250 employees and annual sales approaching $100 million.
In 2003, Wang left his position as chairman of Saxon Publishers to pursue his lifelong passion and desire for teaching. He taught pro-bono at OSSM and at the University of Oklahoma and started a special after-school school for middle school students in Norman, Oklahoma.
In 2006, Wang moved to Plano, Texas and ran his own education business, Wang Education LLC. In 2010-2011, he was a teaching fellow with the Alexander Dawson Foundation Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. Dr. Wang has spoken to teachers and/or students in the New York City Public Schools, Los Angeles Unified School District, Chicago Public Schools, Washington DC Public Schools, and numerous other schools, large and small, public and private, throughout the country (as well as Managua, Nicaragua).
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