Launching STEM careers in Texas since 1976.
The idea for the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering was conceived in 1974.
The Chancellor of the Dallas Community College District had a discussion with a regional Vice President of the General Electric Company about the challenges faced by industry in recruiting minorities into engineering positions. The Chancellor discovered that on all of the Community College’s seven campuses with 50,000+ students, not one minority student was enrolled in the appropriate math/science classes to prepare them for engineering careers.
Lack of awareness and poor pre-college preparation were cited by the Chancellor as the likely reasons for the lack of participation by minorities in this coursework. As a result, the Chancellor convened an informal meeting of area educators, business people and leaders within the minority community to develop strategies on how they could work together to encourage the early entry of minority students into the math/science sequence.
Their success led to the idea that what was working in Dallas could easily work elsewhere around the state. With a Sloan Foundation grant, the Dallas organizers held a two-day symposium in October 1975 to consider how Texas would benefit from similar local efforts. The concept proposed was a simple one: develop an “alliance” consisting of a local chair, vice chair, secretary-treasurer, and a local board of 10-20 industry, public school, college/university and community leaders. Additional people would be recruited to serve as alliance members. Critical to this local structure was a component to work with local school administrators to provide an ongoing program to assist math/science teachers and school counselors.
The major outcome of the symposium was that the participants organized under the name, Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering, (TAME), a non-profit organization. In addition to the original Dallas Alliance, other local alliances were formed in the Rio Grande Valley, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio. TAME was granted its 501(c)(3) status in early 1976.
Today, TAME Chapters in the following regions offer locally relevant programs to engage, retain and encourage students in STEM: Abilene, Amarillo, Capital Area (Austin), Dallas, East Texas, Fort Worth, Golden Triangle (Beaumont), Gulf Coast (Houston), Lubbock, San Angelo, San Antonio, West Texas (Midland, Odessa, Presidio), and Wichita Falls.
Most importantly, the programs have been making a measurable impact for 40 years. From September 2014 to August 2015 more than 25,005 students got to experience the Trailblazer exhibits and more than 996 volunteers helped with this program. The Trailblazer traveled 22,404 miles all in the state of Texas. Out of the TAME high school seniors who participated in the 2014 State Math and Science Competition (now known as STEM competitions), 100% are attending college. Of those students, 90% are majoring in STEM and 50% are majoring in Engineering.
"TAME taught me I can do anything that I put my mind to," wrote one student from the Beaumont Chapter. "TAME can open many doors for a bright future!"