The Robert & MeiLi Hefner Foundation Announces the Winners of the 2014 “Hefner Initiative – OSSM” and “Hefner Initiative – Webb Schools” Award

May 14, 2014
By Metra Nichols

The Hefner Initiative 2014 program this summer intales of an approxiamte two week cultural experiene in the tropical city-state of Singapore and in the rich, historical city of Beijing, China.
The Hefner Awardees this year from the Webb Schools and from the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics are: Katie McDonald, Samantha Okere (OSSM), Anthony Palacio and Maddie Gaumer (Webb). The award this year has been expanded to include the sponsorship of one OSSM faculty member, Dr. Kurt Bachmann, Professor of Physics.
The Awardees will join in classes and participate in activities at the National University of Singapore High School of Mathematics and Science. They will have the opportunity to also explore the beautiful city-state’s museums of art and history. Included in the program is a special tour of such institutions as the science complex Biopolis and Fusionopolis, which will offer an insight into one of the world’s important and ground-breaking science research establishments. The Awardees will also learn about the great variety of cultures that make Singapore the unique melting pot that it is today.

While in China, the Awardees will stay with local host families of students from the Beijing High School No. 4 located in the country’s capital of Beijing. This opportunity will lend a great experience for our American high school students to learn first-hand about China, the culutre, and her people. The group will tour the ancient city’s landmarks such as The Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China along with visiting Beijing’s museums of art and history.
Upon return to the United States, each Hefner Awardee will reflect on their experience in writing an essay with pictorial references from their travels and give a presentation to their class and school as part of the program to promote an understanding of the importance of the China/USA relationship.