Chris Bonner

Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence
Oklahoma Mentor Day

Chris Bonner

STARBASE Oklahoma 2.0, Department of Defense, Nicoma Park Middle School

Chris Bonner, a science teacher at Nicoma Park Middle School, has been recognized for going the extra mile as an after-school mentor for STARBASE Oklahoma 2.O, a program that offers hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities and mentoring for at-risk youth.

“Chris has been selected for his work in organizing a STEM club at Nicoma Park Middle School,” said nominator Steven Davis of STARBASE 2.0. “His work in the field of education is exemplary to many. Chris's students are always engaged in activities and are very respectful to him and others in his classroom.”

Under Bonner’s leadership, his mentees have taken on two major projects over the past two years, building drones, which are unmanned aerial vehicles, and Sea Perch, which are underwater robots. Bonner particularly enjoyed working with students on the Sea Perch project, teaching basic engineering and science concepts with a marine engineering theme. Through the projects, students also learn problem solving, teamwork and technical applications.

“Mr. Bonner is very active in NPMS STEM education, and it shows in his desire to involve all students," said fellow mentor Linda Davis, noting that he has gained a deeper love for teaching by spending time with students outside the traditional school day.

About the Program: STARBASE 2.0 combines STEM activities with a relationship-rich, school-based environment serving at-risk youth in fifth through eighth grades. The program uses a team mentoring approach, pairing teams of three to four students with one adult mentor for four hours each month to focus on STEM projects, team-building and goal setting.