For three decades, the TAME Math and Science Competitions
(now known as STEM Competitions) have brought together talented students from across Texas to compare and share their skills in math, science, and engineering. From our early days in Houston to our 2015 event in Fort Worth, the Competition has grown by leaps and bounds, helping to launch thousands of Texas students into successful STEM careers.
TAME graduates are everywhere: helping to run the International Space Station
, heading academic departments, studying medicine, and returning to Competitions to inspire a new generation. In this 30th anniversary year, we celebrate generations of winners – including our wonderful volunteers and sponsors – and ask how the Competitions helped shaped them.
For Katrieva Jones-Munroe, former TAME club member and now Department Chair of Computer Science at Odessa College
, the Competitions were a place for her to discover her best self:
"Before TAME, I thought all competitions were athletic. TAME showed me other ways to compete academically. Through TAME, I found my academic niche. I competed in lots of academic competitions and I never won, but TAME taught me how to be a cheerful loser, a skill you need in order to become an appreciative winner. Before TAME, I cried for days when I lost sport competitions, because I knew I could not do any better. After TAME, I used each loss as a learning experience and grew from it. In other words, I became a better me." Read her full interview here.
Rachel R., a former TAME club member and TAME scholar, went to the Competition and saw a future in STEM. Now a biochemistry student at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin
, she will soon be going on to medical school.
"I got involved with time as an 8th grader in Odessa, Texas, when I was invited to participate in the Math and Science competition in Houston. The competition was a blast. It was well-organized and fun. I took tests in biology and physics, and then there was a group project where we had to simulate the most efficient windmill. It turned out to be an inertia formula. We didn’t win that time, but it was still really cool to work on it. We also got to tour a jet factory and listen to the people who worked there. TAME opened my eyes to math and science fields. I thought, you’re going to be fine if you get a degree in engineering or science. It gave me a confidence boost." Read her full interview here.
For long-time TAME Board Member
Emanuel Guidry, the Competitions are a powerful way to encourage kids to learn and grow.
"My relationship with TAME started in 1991. When I heard about TAME’s mission, I thought that this was something I could do to help, and I’ve been working with them ever since. Our mission is to help create a pipeline for all students to get into STEM careers. This is good for the students and it’s good for business.
"Kids need reinforcement to succeed. The environment has a tendency to step all over kids, telling them it’s not important or not cool to be good at school. TAME helps to show kids that education has value, and that education increases their options... There are all types of talent and you don’t know where it’s going to come from. TAME works with students from all backgrounds. We help reach the kids that no one else is reaching and help them find out what their talents are."
For former TAME Board Member
Kyle Ray, the Competitions are an ongoing source of inspiration.
“I’ve been involved in the Math and Science competitions for a number of years now, both on a regional and a statewide level. The very first time I attended a competition was a few years ago. It was held at a school in the middle of town early on a Saturday morning, and I got there thinking, surely there won’t be a big turnout, these kids would rather watch cartoons or do anything else on a Saturday morning besides take a math and science test. But there were all of these students lined up and signing up for the tests, so excited to learn more, and just seeing their excitement was incredible to me. These kids definitely have a passion for knowledge and I could see them light up at the challenges they were able to face." Read his full interview here
And, finally, Katrieva Jones-Munroe brings us full circle:
“In January, I got to speak at the [West Texas] Math and Science competition, and I told those kids, twenty years ago I was in your seats, and in twenty from now, I challenge you to speak to a group of students about TAME and how it inspired you.”
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TAME.By Jessie Temple and Lindsey Carmichael, April 13, 2015.