HOUSTON, Dec. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CITGO Petroleum Corporation recently announced the winners of its sixth-annual Fueling Education program, an initiative designed to raise awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. From June through September, educators within the CITGO footprint entered the sweepstakes by submitting a brief description of how they help inspire STEM education within their classrooms.

"We are committed to developing the next generation of STEM leaders," said CITGO Vice President Strategic Shareholder Relations, Government & Public Affairs, Rafael Gomez. "We also recognize that the people who will have the biggest direct impact are the teachers who are inspiring, educating and encouraging students every day. That's why we started Fueling Education six years ago – to reward and support exceptional teachers."

Ninety First Prize winners received a $1,000 voucher for school supplies redeemable at National School Supply and a subscription to Steve Spangler's Virtual Science Workshop. Three grand prize winners -- Susan VanDeWater of Wieland Elementary in Pflugerville, Texas; Tracy Nicely of Green Springs Elementary in Green Springs, Ohio; and Casey Sentz of Anchorage Public School in Anchorage, Ky. – each received a $5,000 voucher for school supplies redeemable at National School Supply, as well as an in-school teacher workshop from Mr. Spangler for up to 100 teachers.

"Steve caused a STEM movement in our little district which I will be forever grateful," said grand prize winner Tracy Nicely. "Our students are going to reap the benefits from us meeting him and catching the wonder of STEM."

The Fueling Education program is one of many efforts aligned with the CITGO signature educational initiative called the CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline. The goal is to expand STEM education and career opportunities for students in the company's operational areas. Since the Pipeline's inception in 2016, CITGO has awarded more than $1.5 million toward programs that promote the importance of STEM education and provide educators with much needed resources.

About Steve Spangler
Steve Spangler is a best-selling author, educator, entrepreneur and Emmy award-winning science communicator who finds the most creative ways to make science fun. His videos featured on YouTube have more than 200 million views, and his online experiments are widely used by parents and educators to increase student engagement and inspire young scientists to learn more about STEM-based careers. Steve is probably best known for using YouTube as his classroom to teach millions of people how to turn a bottle of soda and a roll of Mentos into an erupting soda geyser. Spangler is a frequent guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show where she dubbed him "America's Science Teacher…because his creativity and sense of fun are inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders." For more, visit www.stevespangler.com or www.facebook.com/stevespangler.

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. For more information, please visit www.citgo.com.