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Stepping Up for STEM in Wichita Falls: Denise Simmons


Stepping Up For STEM in Wichita Falls: Denise Simmons
Above, left: Denise Simmons in the classroom. Above, right: students working on projects in local STEM programs with Denise.

"STEM levels the playing field. Anybody can be whatever they want. If kids are working with a 3D printer to design a prosthetic hand, they’re not thinking about socioeconomic barriers. They’re thinking about what they can do with that printer."

Dr. Denise Simmons is assistant professor of Educational Leadership & Technology at Midwestern State University. With co-chair Marcie Williford, she is the new TAME Chapter Leader in TAME's Wichita Falls Chapter. This story is the final segment in a three-part series celebrating past and present leadership in Wichita Falls.
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Boeing Awards $100K to Celebrate 100 Years of Innovation

Boeing Awards $100K to Celebrate 100 Years of Innovation

The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) is thrilled to announce that partner Boeing has generously awarded a $100,000 grant to celebrate the science behind the past 100 years of aerospace advancement and ready students, families and teachers with skills for the next century. As part of its centennial in 2016, Boeing is teaming with several leading education partners to co-create K-12 educational resources. TAME will serve as one of Boeing's strategic partners, introducing the next generation of Texas students to innovative problem solving and careers in STEM.

The Boeing grant will provide Family STEM Night events centered on the TAME Trailblazers, bringing a novel, mobile STEM engagement program to students and their communities across the Lonestar State.
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TAME Competitions: New Name, Same Great Event

TAME State Competition at Lockheed Martin 2014 Collier Award Students 
Decades of Excellence
For years, TAME's Math & Science Competitions have been a wonderful opportunity for Texas students to test their math and science skills, connect with like-minded peers and mentors, and explore industry and academic settings.

For years, too, the highlight of these competitions has been the Engineering Design Challenge. The excitement and satisfaction of working with a team to invent a jet-powered blimp, or build a paper skyscraper, or protect an egg on its harrowing fall lasts well beyond the competition -- in fact, teachers report that student buzz about the Engineering Design Challenge is a big part of getting new students interested in joining TAME.

Changing the Competition Name
With this in mind, we believe that it's time for the name of the competition to reflect the inclusion of all aspects of STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math. The competition structure will remain exactly the same (why mess with a great thing?). However, rather than Divisional and State Math and Science Competitions, the events will now be called Divisional and State STEM Competitions.
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TAME Engineering Adventure: Crane Challenge

TAME Engineering Adventure: Crane Challenge!

Welcome to TAME Engineering Adventures! Every month we strive to bring you two engineering activities (this month we will provide one warm-up activity and one practice competition activity) that will help you challenge your students with hands-on learning. 

This October's Engineering Adventure is to construct a crane! We provide a terrific video from Curiosity Machine, which stars a Latina engineer illustrating both a simple crane and a complex crane with pulleys and a crank. Next we share the 2012 State Competition Engineering Design Challenge! It’s perfect for a pre-Divisional warm-up. 

It's a great way to get your Club members to start thinking like engineers in preparation for our STEM Competitions.

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Shell Awards $75,000 to TAME

Shell Oil Company Donates $75,000 for Trailblazer Visits

The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) is thrilled to announce that partner Shell Oil Company has generously awarded a $75,000 grant to empower Texas students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. 

The grant will support the TAME Trailblazers, bringing an innovative, mobile STEM engagement program to students across the Lonestar State. Shell will continue to recognize an outstanding high school student at the State STEM Competitions, formerly known as the Math and Science Competition. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of students, and for helping us build a workforce that looks like Texas.
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Trailblazer Delivers Science to 2,000 Port Arthur Students

TAME Trailblazer Delivers Science to 2,000 Port Arthur Students
An eighth grade student tries her luck as a meteorologist in front of a green screen at the weather station in the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering Trailblazer at Abraham Lincoln Middle School in Port Arthur. Photo credit to The Port Arthur News.


"Playing hooky has never been so electrifying," writes The Port Arthur News in a story about a recent 10-day Trailblazer visit to the Golden Triangle region of Texas. 

"Tavian Gipson's first shot at the electric ball was tentative — timid, even — but he said that initial "jolt" got him hooked."

"'My body is a conductor,' Gipson said, smiling at his classmates."

Gipson was one of 2,000 students who benefited from this innovative, mobile STEM engagement program run by the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering, or TAME. The visit to Abraham Lincoln Middle School was sponsored by Motiva, working in partnership with other Port Arthur refineries and petrochemical companies via the Port Arthur Industrial Group. Motiva engineers and technicians volunteered in the Trailblazer to help students relate to science as career opportunities. 
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BASF Awards $25,000 to TAME

BASF Awards $25,000 to TAME to help students pursue careers in STEM

The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) is thrilled to announce that partner BASF has generously awarded a $25,000 grant to empower Texan students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The grant will support a variety of programs, such as after school TAME Clubs, Math & Science Competitions, TAME Trailblazers, and more. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of students, and for helping us build a workforce that looks like Texas.

Join BASF in making a difference. Visit our Get Involved page to see how you can help make sure TAME programs stay free for all Texas students.
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TAME Engineering Adventure: Paper Tower

TAME Engineering Adventure: Paper Tower Challenge! This is a classic challenge, and a great way to teach kids of any age about collaboration, experimentation, and the value of learning from others.
Above, left: two students from the class of teacher and blogger Mr. Goldstein show off their tallest tower in their own version of the paper tower challenge. Top middle: students from the class of teacher and blogger Katy Kiser took a sculptor's approach to the challenge. Top right: another group from Katy Kiser's class drew on the strength of triangles to build their tower. Bottom middle: engineering students at Wisconsin Lutheran College build a 3D art project to study forces of tension and compression. Bottom right: a load-bearing paper structure made with paper and tape, described on Marci Goodwin's blog The Home School Scientist.

Welcome to TAME Engineering Adventures! Every month we strive to bring you two engineering activities (this month we will provide one warm-up activity and one practice competition activity) that will help you challenge your students with hands-on learning. 

This September’s Engineering Adventure is a classic challenge, and a great way to teach kids of any age about collaboration, experimentation, and the value of learning from others. 

It's incredibly simple and affordable, too! You only need some sheets of scratch paper or index cards and a flat surface. We've got tips, tricks, and even TEKS lined up for this adventure. It's a great way to get your Club members to start thinking like engineers in preparation for our STEM Competitions.
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TAME Club Registration Now Open!

Registration now open! TAME Clubs let students explore, win scholarships, compete in math, science, and engineering--and are totally free!

Annual TAME Club registration is now open! From the Panhandle to the Valley, all across Texas, TAME teachers and their students are reaching for the stars--and the laboratories, the board rooms, and even the White House. For over 30 years, TAME has built a strong network of K-12 teachers, higher education partners, and corporate partners dedicated to promoting diversity in STEM. Let us help you inspire students to find the STEM career of their dreams.

By registering your TAME Club, educators and students gain access to our competitions in January and February, as well as a host of other resources.
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Stepping Up for STEM in Wichita Falls: Ed Downing


Stepping Up For STEM in Wichita Falls: Ed Downing
Above, left: Ed Downing reviews STEM education statistics at the launch of the Trailblazer II; above, right: Ed and other TAME Board Members at the Lockheed Martin launch of the Trailblazer II; bottom: Ed with Wichita Falls TAME Club students after participation in a TAME Math and Science Competition.

"Wichita Falls will create a pedigree of students, without regard to race, ethnicity or gender, who are superb – excited, confident and ready for college. These kids will come back and be leaders in their community."

Ed Downing has been the Chapter Leader in TAME’s Wichita Falls Chapter since 1985. Ed served in the US Air Force and worked at ONCOR, Texas's largest regulated electric delivery business. TAME recently recognized Ed for his dedication and decades of commitment to the students of Wichita Falls. This story is the second segment in a three-part series celebrating past and present leadership in Wichita Falls.
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IBM Awards $5,000 to Support Texas Teachers

IBM Awards $5000 to Support Texas Teachers

The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) is pleased to announce that longtime partner IBM has awarded $5,000 to support Texas teachers in science, technology, engineering and math. TAME educators have used IBM's Teachers Try Science in putting together Family STEM Night activities, assembling TAME Club engineering challenges, and designing classroom curriculum.
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Road Scholar Wanted: Now Hiring a Moving Educator

Road Scholar Wanted: TAME Now Hiring a Moving Educator
Trailblazer Facilitator and Engineer David Morris with students in Eagle Lake, Texas after a successful Trailblazer visit to a local library.


Are you ready to take your teaching career on the road? TAME is now hiring a third Trailblazer Facilitator to bring the excitement of STEM to students all across the state. Every year, our science-museums-on-wheels travel over 18,000 miles and engage over 20,000 students with electrifying hands-on exhibits.

TAME is putting the call out to all of central Texas, seeking a friendly, dynamic individual to connect with students, teachers, administrators, and local media. This year we're expanding to reach a record-breaking number of schools, and we need more facilitators to meet the demand. Help our mobile museums reach more students than ever before.

"I love this job, it combines all the best parts of teaching," says Facilitator V.J. Willis, who was a classroom teacher for 12 years before joining TAME. "It's the greatest experience I've ever had as an educator, because you get to see kids getting very excited about learning. That's why you get into teaching in the first place!"
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American Honda Foundation Awards $50,000 to TAME for Family STEM Nights

American Honda Foundation Awards $50,000 to TAME for Family STEM Nights

The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) is proud to announce a new partnership with the American Honda Foundation, which has generously awarded $50,000 to empower Texan students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The contribution will support Family STEM Nights with the TAME Trailblazers, bringing an innovative, mobile STEM engagement program to students, families, and whole communities across Texas. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of students, and for helping us build a workforce that looks like Texas.
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Stepping Up for STEM in Wichita Falls: Marcie Williford


Stepping Up For STEM in Wichita Falls: Marcie Williford, Engineer at Alcoa Howmet and TAME Co-Chair
Above, left: Marcie Williford takes students on a tour during a Young Engineer Summer Camp; above, right: Marcie collaborates with other engineers at Alcoa Howmet, which specializes in precision investment castings of superalloy, titanium and aluminum alloys for aerospace and industrial markets.

"Every student’s success is good for the whole community. The influence of a successful locally-educated person is enormous when you consider the impact it has on their family, friends and community. Someone from your own town accomplishing big things can be far more impactful than someone from outside this community."

Marcie Williford is Manager of Process and Quality Engineering at Alcoa Howmet. She and Co-Chair Dr. Denise Simmons are stepping up for STEM in TAME’s Wichita Falls Chapter. This story is the first segment in a three-part series celebrating past and present leadership in Wichita Falls.
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TAME Engineering Adventure: Building with Biomimicry

TAME Engineering Adventure: Biomimicry! A hands-on activity challenging middle school and high school students to build robot hands and flowers, to think like biologists and biomedical engineers!
Above, left: a robotic hand from the ScienceBuddies.org project Grasping With Straws. Above, top middle: Muscles of the Hand and Wrist, by Elisa Shorn, circa 1900, shared with a Creative Commons License by Heidelberg University. Above, top right: a robotic flower from the Curiosity Machine project Build a Blooming Flower. Above, bottom right: Hibiscus at Zilker Botanical Garden, shared with a Creative Commons License by Anne Swoboda.

Welcome to TAME Engineering Adventures! Every month we strive to bring you two engineering activities (one for middle school, one for high school) that will help you challenge your students with hands-on learning. 

Looking for ways to incorporate engineering projects into your biology or science class? Great news! Animals, plants, and microbes are nature's engineers, and whenever human scientists, inventors, and engineers build on their designs they are participating in biomimicry.

From the Biomimicry Institute, "Biomimicry is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature's time-tested patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes, and policies—new ways of living—that are well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul."

This month's Engineering Adventure are a perfect fit for hands-on learning in Biology class and challenging TAME Club members to think creatively in preparation for our Divisional and STEM Competitions.

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IBM Awards Impact Grant to TAME

Since the 1970s, TAME Partner IBM has been helping launch students into STEM careers with programs like TAME's Trailblazer mobile science museums.

The presentation of a strategic planning report at TAME's Board meeting today was the last piece of an IBM Impact Grant to TAME. The grant, valued at more than $55,000, was offered at a critical time in TAME's growth and it will help direct TAME programs over the next 3 – 5 years.

IBM has been an integral part of TAME since the late 70s when Pete Suarez from IBM led the organization as the Board Chair. It was under his guidance that TAME launched the first Trailblazer (Expo-Tex) and received state funds that fueled the organization's first growth spurt! Since then, for almost 40 years, IBM has continued to be a valued, strategic partner supporting Texas students through TAME programs.

In recent years, IBM has sponsored the development of the TAME Comic Books and with translating them to Spanish; TAME teachers have regularly used IBM's Teachers Try Science in putting together Family STEM Night activities and the TAME Board had IBM support with the strategic planning process.

TAME students, staff, volunteers and the Board thank Deb Dorman (WW Cloud ISV Leader, Ecosystem Development, IBM) for her work on the TAME Board and Beth Tracy (Manager, IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs) for her long-term support for TAME. We look forward to the next 5 years as we strengthen TAME programs, engage more students and implement a strategic plan developed with IBM's help.
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Trailblazer Brings Science to Summer Camp in Austin

MyFoxAustin | KTBC | Fox 7 Austin | News Weather Sports


Trailblazer I rolled through Austin today at Decker Middle School as part of a summer program of United Way for Greater Austin, that focuses on preventing summer learning loss. Local media came out to get a closer look at the hands-on science exhibits and see what a difference they would make for the middle school students. Many thanks to Fox 7 News Austin and Tania Ortega for your coverage of our programs and the work we do to promote diversity in STEM careers.
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Harnessing Brain Power in Odessa


TAME Teacher and Alumnus Jeff Vann helps an Odessa student at UTPB Academy learn to use power tools
TAME Teacher and Alumnus Jeff Vann helps a student at UTPB Academy learn to use power tools in a class engineering project. 


"I remember being in school and feeling like there was a stigma on the smart kids. Even now, kids feel like it’s not okay to be the smart kid in the class, or that there’s not a reason to excel. TAME programs show kids that it’s okay to be smart, and that you get to do cool stuff when you’re a smart kid."

Jeff Vann is a TAME Alumnus and Teacher who brings science and engineering to students at the UTPB STEM Academy in TAME's West Texas Chapter.  His TAME Club students are known as the Noisy Nerdles.
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Alcoa Foundation Awards $15,000 to Wichita Falls TAME Students

Alcoa Awards $15,000 to empower Wichita Falls students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math!

The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) is thrilled to announce that Alcoa Foundation has awarded $15,000 in scholarships to TAME students in Wichita Falls. With this generosity Alcoa Foundation will empower students in their community to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of students, and for helping us build a workforce that looks like Texas.
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3M Awards $15,000 to TAME for Trailblazer Visits

3M Awards $15,000 to TAME for Trailblazer Visits to Central Texas

The Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) is proud to announce that partner 3M has generously awarded a $15,000 grant to empower Texan students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

The grant will support the TAME Trailblazers, bringing an innovative, mobile STEM engagement program to students at schools in the greater Austin area. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of students, and for helping us build a workforce that looks like Texas.
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