SULPHUR, La., Nov. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Lake Charles along with community partners, the Calcasieu Parish School Board and SOWELA Technical Community College, celebrated National STEM Day with local students and teachers on Nov. 8 at the West-Cal Events Center.
During the event, fifth-grade students participating in the Calcasieu Parish Engineering is Elementary engaged in an exciting engineering design challenge created by the McNeese State University's College of Engineering. In addition, the 2017-2018 CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline grants were awarded to the Calcasieu Parish School Board and SOWELA Technical Community College. Grants will be used to further enhance curriculum. They will equip local educators with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) resources and provide opportunities to stimulate the minds of students.
CITGO also recognized local teachers who displayed exemplary effort, dedication, talents and contributions in strengthening and implementing STEM education in Southwest Louisiana. Fourth-grade teacher Terri Miller of Barbe Elementary was named CITGO STEM Teacher of the Year. Miller was awarded a $250 gift certificate from National School Supply and the opportunity to sail on the Ocean Exploration Trust exploration vessel E/V Nautilus as a CITGO Ambassador during a 2018 expedition.
"CITGO is an advocate for education and STEM programs in Southwest Louisiana to inspire the students of today to become the professionals of tomorrow," said Art Klein, Vice President and General Manager of the CITGO Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex. "STEM curriculum presents science, technology, engineering and math in fun and creative ways to students, to fully engage their interest in education, and prepares students as the new generation of the industrial work force."
The STEM Day engineering design challenge included nine teams showcasing their very own creations, which consisted of the design and build concept of a vehicle powered solely by the energy of a mousetrap. Judging criteria included understanding of the project, the quality of their printed and oral presentations (70 percent) and the team's race time (30 percent). Each member of the overall design challenge champion team, Bronco STEM Squad of Moss Bluff Elementary, won a Kindle Fire and Ozobot. Dolby Engineers of Dolby Elementary received the People's Choice award. Each team member received an Ozobot.
CITGO launched the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline program in 2016. This initiative partners with educational organizations near the company's operational areas to increase access to educational opportunities in STEM. The program promotes the importance of STEM education to the socioeconomic development of our communities and highlights the numerous pathways to rewarding careers, including those in the energy industry. It provides grants to schools and educational organizations to support programs that increase student interest, retention and graduation rates – particularly at the high school and post-secondary levels – and those that prepare students for STEM technical and university level curriculum. The program also provides scholarships for students pursuing higher degrees in STEM fields. To date, the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline has already benefited more than 17,000 students and educators across the CITGO operational footprint, strengthening the communities where the company has a presence.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit www.CITGO.com.