a workforce that looks like Texas
“I feel I owe a lot of where I am now to TAME. I grew up in a small town. TAME opened up my eyes to engineering. TAME lets kids know that there are possibilities outside of their town. There are so many opportunities. I’d hate to think any kids were missing out.”
– Guadalupe Gonzales, Boeing Safety & Reliability Manager, International Space Station, TAME Alumnus
Since 1976, TAME has worked to encourage the participation of women and minorities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers through innovative, hands-on science programming for K-12 students across Texas. We offer age-specific programs to spark and support student interest in STEM, professional development and curriculum ideas for teachers, and locally relevant events to educate families and communities about opportunities in STEM.
To enable Texas students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) by:
- Creating partnerships among educators, industry, government and families to inform, educate and motivate students
- Implementing classroom and extra-curricular programs and activities
- Focusing on populations that remain underrepresented in fields of STEM
- Promoting diversity in STEM careers
Every K-12 student has the educational experiences necessary to pursue a career in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
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TAME History: Engineering Inclusion
Can inclusion be engineered? That’s a question that the founding members of the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering asked in 1974. At the time, there was no statewide non-profit focused on creating a strong and diverse STEM workforce. Rather, there was a noticeable lack of female and minority participants in STEM industries. To address this lack, the then-Chancellor of the Dallas Community College District (DCCD) sat down with a regional Vice President of the General Electric Company to talk about how STEM employers could better recruit minorities.
That conversation revealed a big problem: even when STEM industries were looking to recruit minority candidates, students did not have the necessary background and skills. In 1974, of the more than 50,000 students on the DCCD’s seven campuses, not one minority student was enrolled in the appropriate math/science classes to prepare them for engineering careers.
The Chancellor did what any good engineer would do: identified the problem (a lack of awareness of STEM careers and a lack of pre-college preparation); assembled a team (area educators, business people and leaders within the minority community); and began testing approaches to encourage the early entry of minority students into the STEM sequence.
Those early tests in Dallas were so successful that the organizers decided to expand statewide. They proposed a simple structure: an “alliance” in each targeted area that would include a local chair, vice chair, secretary-treasurer, and a local board of 10-20 industry, public school, college/university and community leaders. Each alliance, supported by local volunteers, would work with local school administrators to provide an ongoing program to assist math/science teachers and school counselors in reaching underrepresented students.
The result was the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering. In addition to the original Dallas Alliance, other local alliances were formed in the Rio Grande Valley, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, and TAME was granted its 501(c)(3) status on September 27th, 1976.
Some key dates in TAME history:
- 1974: First meeting of TAME founding members
- 1976: TAME incorporated as non-profit
- 1979: Traveling trailer ‘Expo-Tex’ hits the road
- 1984: Day of engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A&M University
- 1985: 1st Statewide Math & Science Competition (now STEM Competitions)
- 1987: TAME debuts the second traveling museum, the ‘Expo-Tex II’
- 2002: Trailblazer I introduced
- 2009: Science Squad™ Comic Book Issue 1 released
- 2011: Science Squad™ Comic Book 2 released
- 2012: TAME film ‘It IS Rocket Science’ is released
- 2013: Trailblazer II launched
- 2014: TAME Clubs introduced and Divisional Competitions streamlined
- 2016: Club and Student Registration moves online and Mentoring Program launched
- 2017: Hidden in Plain Sight: Discovering STEM Potential Workshop launched
Over the past four decades, we have seen a slow but significant shift in the numbers. We still have a lot of work to do, but our impact is growing.
At the annual STEM Competitions held across Texas, 97% of participating students—more than 70% Hispanic or African-American and 45% female—plan to go on to college, with 50% of seniors going into engineering and 90% into STEM. TAME now has 14 active chapters and counting, and over the next 40 years, we plan to continue to build a STEM workforce that reflects the diversity and strength of our great state of Texas.
“What makes TAME special is that they reached out to us. I didn’t go looking for them. They came to us and they tried to get us involved. That was a big deal. Also, it was free to go to the competitions. A lot of kids wouldn’t have been able to afford to go to something like that, but it was free. TAME … helped us see that engineering and science are good fields to go into, they showed us that it’s attainable, and they showed us a way to get there.”
Rachel R., former TAME Club member, Biochemistry major
TAME Chapters active statewide
TAME Clubs registered across Texas
students reached last year