Great Plains Technology Center students were given a unique educational opportunity to learn how high-tech today’s Army is with the U.S. Army STEM Exhibit October 29, 2019. The special event was sponsored by the Lawton Recruiting Station. Students gained hands-on knowledge in a variety of military STEM areas including simulations, demos, robotics, and more. Representatives from Fort Sill Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Air Defense Artillery, U.S. Army Recruiters, Fort Sill Artillery Half Section, Criminal Investigation Division (CID), Provost Marshal’s Office (PMO), Army Medical Department (AMEDD OBC), and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) were available to offer demonstrations and  speak one on one to the students. It was an amazing day for everyone!

Student Built House


The eighth house built by Great Plains Technology Center Building Trades students is now for sale.   The 16-hundred square foot home features three large bedrooms and two baths and is “tricked out” from to bottom.  Upgrades include top tier granite, laminated wood floors, energy efficient vinyl windows, extra insulation lifetime vinyl shingle siding, stacked rock entry, top-line fixtures, plus a walk-in pantry and walk-in closets.   

“This project is the ultimate “real world” instructional experience for building trades students”, said Clayton Snodgrass, Great Plains carpentry instructor.  “This is a student based project from concept to completion and is probably the best house we’ve ever built”.  The house has about 18-months from the design phase to the final phase of completing a punch list touch ups. “It reflects the real world in that carpenters, electricians, painters, HVAC technicians and other are all involved in the house’s construction”, Snodgrass said.  He estimates about 100 Great Plains students participated in building the house. 

“If the sale of the house generates a profit those monies provide scholarships and activities for Great Plains students”, said Glen Boyer, Executive Director of the Great Plains Technology Center Foundation.  “It’s proven to be a very worthwhile project”, he added.  The non-profit GPTC Foundation finances construction of the house as part of its mission of supporting the technology center and its mission of preparing students to successfully enter the workforce.    

Great Plains’ Student Built Houses, including this house, are built on a special stem wall that was constructed at the technology center’s Lawton campus.  This allows students to spend more time learning “hands on” the job and less time traveling if the house was built off campus.  

HVAC student Gage Phelps spoke for most students in regard to their experiences in building the house when he said, “we can instantly see the results of our work and it’s a way to make the classroom learning come alive”.  

When the house is sold the new owner will be responsible for moving the structure to its new location.  All of the houses have been moved pretty flawlessly according to Boyer.  They’ve all relocated to rural locations across Southwest Oklahoma.  He says the process is pretty simple.  First the buyer must have land on which to locate the new house.  The buyer then simply has their concrete contractor build a stem wall identical in size to the one on which the latest house now sits.  A moving company moves the house from the Lawton campus to the new location and sets the house down on the new stem wall.  It then is assessed as a genuine, permanent piece of real estate.  Boyer stresses this is not a modular home.  All of the utilities are “stubbed out” under the house so hook-ups are simplified for water, sewer and electricity.  The technology center can help identify moving companies and contractors. 

The 16-hundred square foot house is priced at $52 per square foot or $83,200.  “You just can’t find a house this size and in this price range that has so many upgrades and this quality of custom craftsmanship, Boyer added.  To see the home or to learn more phone Boyer at 580.250.5603 or 580.917.1910 or e-mail him at  

Great Plains Technology Students Receive Entrepreneurship Certificates

Several high school students embarked on a new initiative within their Great Plains Technology Center program…entrepreneurship awareness. This seven module program exposed students to the concepts of business ownership and management. The students who completed the program during the first semester of the 2018-2019 school year, were presented certificates of completion from GPTC’s Small Business Management Coordinator, Lynn Null-the entrepreneurship awareness co-coordinator, and GPTC Superintendent Clarence Fortney. A new group of students will take part in the awareness program during the second semester.


In recognition of its training effort in supporting Fort Sill’s Air Defense, a certificate of appreciation was formally presented to Mike Ferguson-Adult Career Development (ACD) Coordinator, John Noel-ACD Director, and Karen Bailey-Deputy Superintendent September 14th. Making the presentation was Chief Warrant Officer 3 David Hemingway and Command Sergeant Major Giancarlo Macri. CW3 Hemingway is the instructor of the Warrant Officer Basic Course and Macri is the Command Sergeant Major for the 2-6 Air Defense Artillery Battalion at Fort Sill. Friday marked the final day of a five-day Net+ Prep training course. This is the first time the training has been conducted on our campus. Great Plains Technology Center has provided CompTIA National Certification Training in A+, Net+, and Sec+ courses to the Air Defense for the last couple of years. Certification testing is also conducted at Great Plains. Furthermore, Great Plains is in the process of developing a pilot IT Fundamentals program that will benefit AIT students who are a part of Air Defense as well. The pilot program will start in October.

First Ken Taylor Memorial T&I Scholarship

Great Plains presented its first Ken Taylor Memorial T&I Scholarship today to HVAC student Brandon Strange-pictured second from left. Kay Taylor represented the family. Also pictured are HVAC instructor Zach Sale and Superintendent Clarence Fortney.

Great Plains presented its first Ken Taylor Memorial T&I Scholarship today to HVAC student Brandon Strange-pictured second from left. Kay Taylor represented the family. Also pictured are HVAC instructor Zach Sale and Superintendent Clarence Fortney.

Great Plains presented its first Ken Taylor Memorial T&I Scholarship today to HVAC student Brandon Strange-pictured second from left. Kay Taylor represented the family. Also pictured are HVAC instructor Zach Sale and Superintendent Clarence Fortney.

Mr. Taylor was one of the original six instructors hired by GPTC in 1971. He taught Drafting for six years and served as principal for 30 years. We are privileged to honor Ken Taylor’s life of service to thousands of students. We also wish Brandon the best in his future education and career.  Contributions to the Great Plains Technology Center Foundation funds the $1,575.00 scholarship.  To read more about the scholarship presentation please visit the Lawton Constitution web site for a story reported by Josh Rouse:

High School Student Aim High with Great Plains’ Project Lead the Way/STEM Courses

Pre-Engineering instructor Marcia Brown and student Franchesca Young discussing robotics project.

Pre-Engineering instructor Marcia Brown and student Franchesca Young discussing robotics project.

Biomedical Science and Medicine

If you’re thinking of a career as a physician, nurse, forensic scientist or biomedical technican and you’re creative, motivated and inspired, Biomedical Science and Medicine could be the springboard you need for college success. You’ll solve problems, make discoveries, create projects all while utilizing teamwork and displaying leadership.

Through the exciting Project-Lead-the-Way curriculum, students will learn with hands-on projects and experiences. Topics will include bio-informatics, human medicine, and an in depth study of the human body. Students will also study advanced math and advanced science courses that will provide them with the strong math and science foundation needed to be prepared to enter a college/university program in a science related field.

This is a three-year academy with students starting their sophomore year in high school. It is an academically intense, project-based program focusing on the biomedical field. Students will be able to test for college credit through AP courses and successfully transition to post-secondary.


Envision yourself helping create the next generation of smart phone, designing an office building, space shuttle, or suspension bridge. Welcome to the world of engineers, a professional that will make the most of your analytical and academic skills.

Great Plains’ Pre-Engineering program in an intensive three-year academy that enables the student to look at different types of engineering as well as emphasizing higher academics. Students in this major will study pre-engineering through Project-Lead-the-Way curriculum that will introduce them to the concepts and principles of engineering and there will be a strong emphasis on developing problem solving skills.

Students will also study advanced math and science courses that will provide them with the strong math and science foundation needed to be prepared to enter a college/university program in a science related field.

For information about Biomedical Science and Medicine or Pre-Engineering, visit with your high school counselor or call Great Plains Student Services at 580-250-5535, or follow

Motorcycle Rider Courses this Fall

Great Plains Technology Center will offer the Basic Rider Course, sponsored by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). This course covers the basic fundamentals of motorcycling. Students will receive step-by-step instructions on how to safely ride a motorcycle. Successful completion of this course satisfies the DOD MSF card requirement. It waives the Oklahoma written and driving test to obtain the motorcycle  “M” endorsement on their license. Students 14-17 must have their legal guardian attend the first session to sign a consent form. Anyone under the age of 18 must by law, complete an MSF course to get their “M” endorsement on their license. Training motorcycles are provided. Fall courses will be taught in September and October. Classes meet on a Friday from 6-9 p.m., plus Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information or to enroll, contact Adult Career Development at 580-250-5500.

Great Plains Students Capture Innovative Award at World Championship

Great Plains VEX Robotics Team bested more than 500 other teams from around the world and won the INNOVATE Award at the 2018 VEX Robotics World Championship held in Louisville, KY.  Both Great Plains teams engineering notebooks were also recognized as among the top six.  The INNOVATE Award is presented to a team that demonstrates a strong combination of ingenuity and innovation in designing their VEX robot.  Trecia Karinshak, Pre-Engineering instructor and head coach of the teams said the INNOVATE Award truly exemplifies thinking “outside the box”  and presenting a soundly crafted engineering design.


Pictured from left: Rebecca Farrow, Andrew Noland, Donovan Farrow, Dillon Reece, Cyber Security Instructor Wes Sloan, GPTC IT Director Kevin Chambers, Von Royal and Rebecca Fowler.

Congratulations to Wes Sloan and the Great Plains Technology Center Cyber Security Forensics program. Representatives from Alias Forensics and OneNet presented the program a $1000 check. The funds were raised during the recent GPTC Cyber Security Conference, and will be used to help offset the cost to send two students to the Business Professionals of America National Leadership Conference, and with  future student activities, contests, and exam fees.

Alias Forensics is a top tier certified digital forensic and incident response (IR) company located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Alias Forensics provides digital forensic services for computers, mobile devices, GPS, and assists with the electronic discovery (e-Discovery) process. OneNet is the comprehensive digital communications initiative of Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and Oklahoma’s only statewide internet service provider.


Great Plains students (l-r) Tony Ponce, John Todd Wallace, Francesca Young, Austin Nguyen and Andrew Gonzales qualified to compete at the VEX Robotics World Championship

Still standing!  Nineteen Great Plains Technology Center students qualified to compete at national or world Career Technology Student Organization skills and leadership contests.  Qualifiers got to this point by winning at district, regional or state competitions.  Five Pre-Engineering students competed for the VEX Robotics World Championships.  Great Plains VEX team was one of only 60 teams (out of more than 800 teams) that qualified to compete for the VEX Award of Excellence.  Great Plains VEX Robotics competitors are John-Todd Wallace, Tony Ponce, Andrew Gonzales, Austin Nguyen and Franchesca Young.

Three members of Great Plains Business Professionals of America (BPA) will compete May 9-13 at BPA’s national contest in Dallas.  Jason Nayak and Bryan Lavender will compete in Computer Security and Michele Pierce will compete in Graphic Design Promotion.

Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) will take the spotlight on June 27-30—competing at nationals that will also be held in  Dallas.

HOSA students and their contests are: Jennifer Sengstock and Christina Lee—Surgical Technology CERT Team; Alyssia Penstock-Owen and Vickie Larson, Veterinary Science;  Patricia Meza, Clinical Specialty and Cassandra McWhorter and Elizabeth Dodd, Surgical Technology Forensic Medicine Team.

The Skills USA National contest will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, June 25-29.  Lilly Conn and Terrance Hooks will represent Oklahoma and Great Plains in Computer Internetworking and Collision Damage Appraisal respectively.

The Family Care and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) will wrap up the national contests on June 28-July 2.  Amira Trim and Arnold Farias will represent Oklahoma in Applied Math for Culinary Management.

About 150 Great Plains students began the contest season earlier this year by competing at the local or district levels.