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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. 

"As an industry with growing workforce needs, we seek opportunities to promote STEM concepts and careers to students in fun and engaging ways," said Greg Gentry in an article in the Beaumont Business Journal. Gentry is Chairman of PAIG and Vice President and General Manager of Valero Port Arthur Refinery. "We recognize it's essential to create enthusiasm early, which is why industry joins together to reach far more students than we could individually."

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John Mamrrique, Motiva project engineer, right, teaches eighth grade science students about different types of energy in the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering Trailblazer at Abraham Lincoln Middle School in Port Arthur. Photo credit to Port Arthur News.

Since 1976, TAME has forged partnerships between educators, industry, government, and families to educate and motivate students with programs like after school clubs, competitions, scholarships, and the Trailblazer mobile science museums.

"Hopefully it motivates them to go back in the classroom and just be curious," said Annie Carter, who serves as TAME Chapter Chair for the Golden Triangle. Carter, formerly an Engineer and Project Manager of TAME Corporate Partner ChevronPhillips, also serves on the TAME Advisory Board. Carter has been instrumental in bringing the Trailblazer experience to Port Arthur students yearly for over a decade. "It'll give them that spark to ask questions and wonder about how the world works around them."

Read the Full Story

Learn more about the Trailblazer and schedule your own visit on TAME's Trailblazer page.

Join Motiva and the Port Arthur Industrial Group in making a difference. Visit TAME's Get Involved page to see how you can help make sure TAME programs stay free for all Texas students.

Many thanks to The Port Arthur NewsChelsea Henderson, The Beaumont Business Journal, and The Examiner for the excellent coverage of the students, STEM professional volunteers, PAISD staff members, and all the work TAME does to promote diversity in STEM careers.
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