Materials maker Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP has provided 4,250 Texas middle school students access to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities this year through its sponsorship of the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering (TAME) Trailblazer program.
CP Chem has sponsored the TAME Trailblazer since 2014. TAME Trailblazers consist of two 40-foot-long trailers serving as interactive, mobile education units that offer hands-on STEM exhibits.
By Nov. 16, the initiative had reached 13 southeast Texas schools near company facilities in Baytown, Orange, Pasadena and Sweeny with two Trailblazers filled with STEM activities.
Students spend about 50 minutes in the TAME Trailblazer, rotating between five museum-like stations offering activities and experiments about space, energy, weather, biotechnology and aerodynamics. The nonprofit's mission is to encourage women and minority students to pursue STEM careers.
The TAME Trailblazer "is a terrific way to support students' interests in STEM education using innovative experiments and displays," Roy Watson, CP Chem workforce development and training manager, said in a news release.
He added that the petrochemical industry "is full of job opportunities, many of which are tied to STEM-related fields. The Trailblazer allows students to discover whether or not a STEM education might be a good fit for them and their career aspirations."
TAME is a non-profit organization that helps prepare Texas students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and math by providing K-12 students, parents, and teachers with STEM-related programs and resources. TAME promotes diversity in STEM careers through the focused recruitment of women and minorities underrepresented in STEM fields.
CP Chem, based in The Woodlands, Texas, is one of North America's largest makers of polyethylene resin and ethylene feedstock. The firm also is a major producer of plastic pipe and a range of specialty chemicals.