Lemont, Ill. – Nov. 9, 2018 – The CITGO Lemont Refinery, in collaboration with the Lemont High School (LHS), observed National STEM Day on Nov. 8, offering an exciting event for area students, parents and teachers. More than 300 people attended the event to celebrate science, technology, engineering and math with 35 interactive demonstrations and a special program at the Lemont High School hosted by CITGO and the LHS Science Department.
“The National STEM Day event is just one way CITGO supports STEM education and the development of future industry leaders,” said Dennis Willig, vice president and general manager of the CITGO Lemont Refinery. “Our employees truly enjoy being able to collaborate with local school administrators, teachers, and students.”
This year’s event began with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the new CITGO Innovation Academy located in the school’s library. While the CITGO Innovation Academy has been open to the students since August, National STEM Day was the perfect opportunity to welcome the community into the state-of-the-art facility to tour the STEM classroom and learn about the resources offered. In addition, guests were treated to a warm beverage from the Common Grounds Coffeehouse, which is located inside the Academy and serves as an employment learning opportunity for Lemont High School students with disabilities.
The event continued in the school auditorium with a short program featuring keynote speaker Megan Cook, Ocean Exploration Trust Manager of Education Partnerships and Programs. In addition, CITGO presented Lemont High School teacher, Scott Collins, with the STEM Teacher of the Year award. As his reward, Collins received a $250 school supply gift certificate, as well as the opportunity to sail on the E/V Nautilus as a CITGO Nautilus Ambassador. Collins has served on staff at Lemont High School since 2004, first as a science teacher and now as chair of the science department. In addition to his administrative role, Collins teaches upperclassmen science courses, and has been a part of writing curriculum for the Big History Project.
CITGO Innovation Academies are the cornerstone of the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline. Through the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline, the company actively supports the academic exploration of STEM education in the schools nearby its refineries in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill. Since the initiative's inception, CITGO has awarded more than $1.5 million toward programs that promote the importance of STEM education and provide educators with the resources they need. The first CITGO Innovation Academy was launched in 2013 at Foy H. Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas, which serves as the flagship campus. Since then, the program has expanded to include six more Innovation Academies at Cunningham Middle School, Garcia Elementary School and West Independent School District, all in Corpus Christi; E.K. Key Elementary School in Sulphur, La.; Lemont High School in Lemont, Ill. and Olle Middle School in Houston, Texas.
About the CITGO Lemont Refinery
For more than 90 years, CITGO Lemont Refinery has employed more than 750 Chicago area residents on a full-time and contract basis in support of the local economy. In addition to producing high quality fuels for a large portion of the network of approximately 5,200 independently and locally-owned CITGO stations across the country, Lemont Refinery employees also make a major positive impact on the community. Each year, more than 2,500 volunteer hours and thousands of dollars are given in support of community programs such as Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way and a variety of environmental and preservation programs. Operations at the Lemont Refinery began in 1925 with a major expansion, doubling the facility in 1933. Over the years, new units were added to meet the demand for a better quality of gas for automobiles, aviation fuel for WWII, and the production of asphalt.
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 48 terminals, nine pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,400 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 749,000 barrels-per-day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the sixth-largest, and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of approximately 5,200 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets in 30 states and the District of Columbia. CITGO Petroleum Corporation 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.