Today marks the start of TAME's 2019 Science Rocks! Summer Library Program! If you wanted to visit each and every participating library, it would take more than 38 hours and 2,247 miles on one epic roadtrip. This year, the furthest distance between two of these libraries is just thirty minutes short of the travel time from El Paso to the Pacific Ocean.
None of this would be possible without the support of the Tocker Foundation, which has generously awarded $50,000 to empower Texan students to drive summer learning for Texas students in science, technology, engineering, and math. The funding delivers TAME's Trailblazer science-on-wheels program to small and rural libraries across Texas this summer.
Students exploring the Trailblazer learn about high school academic endorsements, STEM careers and pay scales. They are also connected to next-step opportunities like after-school STEM clubs, STEM summer camps, and divisional and statewide STEM competitions.
"Everyone that visited was buzzing about their experience afterwards," said Kristen Satterfield, Director of the Claud H. Gilmer Memorial Library, which serves 1,150 citizens in Rocksprings, Texas. The library participated in the Science Rocks! Summer Library Program in summer of 2018 and saw three times the normal number of visitors. In 2018, libraries saw more than 230% percent increase in visitors on average.
"Several students came into the library talking about what field they wanted to study in college because of what they had learned in the Trailblazer," said Satterfield. "I got a sweet text from a parent that said her girls thought it was the best thing they had ever done in town. It was an eye-opening experience for our students, and I would like to sincerely thank the Tocker Foundation for providing the funding to bring this to our community."
TAME is grateful to the Tocker Foundation for making a difference in the lives of students, their families, and whole communities, helping TAME to build a STEM workforce that looks like Texas.
Join the Tocker Foundation 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.