CITGO Petroleum Corporation is teaming up with The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project to equip CITGO employees to lead energy and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) hands-on activities for local students. At a recent lunch and learn workshop held at the CITGO corporate headquarters in Houston, employees were introduced to teaching techniques when working in school classrooms and received a CITGO Go Kit comprised of interactive energy-related activities to facilitate when visiting local schools and afterschool programs. Many of the CITGO employees attending the lunch are members of a CITGO STEM Mentor group, whose members work to share their career background and knowledge with school groups in the classroom and at local events.
The collaboration between CITGO and NEED is part of the recently announced CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline, an initiative to enhance STEM educational and career prospects for students at all levels. Beyond Houston, CITGO and NEED have teamed up to create workshops for employees, educators and students alike near the three CITGO refineries in Corpus Christi, Texas, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Lemont, Illinois.
“Partnering with NEED has enabled CITGO to train employees to help STEM lessons come alive for students and encourage them to seek their own careers, by showing them what STEM professionals’ jobs can entail,” said CITGO Vice President of Strategic Shareholder Relations and Government and Public Affairs, Rafael Gómez. “Through CITGO and NEED workshops in areas surrounding our three refineries, we have reached more than 90 teachers from more than 50 schools.”
“For more than three decades, NEED has supported energy education among STEM students and teachers alike, providing more than 130 teacher and student guides to use in the classroom,” said NEED Executive Director Mary Spruill. “Many CITGO employees have committed to sharing their career experience with local schools, helping NEED further its initiative to create a more energy-conscious society.”
The CITGO STEM Talent Pipeline program has allowed CITGO to help build the next generation of STEM professionals, throughout the state of Texas and beyond. Recently, CITGO announced its partnership with Girlstart, a nonprofit organization committed to addressing the lack of female STEM professionals in the workforce. Through their partnership, CITGO was able to support an afterschool program for Alief ISD in West Houston, providing interactive programs for young female students to get hands-on experience with STEM experiments as well as interactions with STEM professionals. Additionally, CITGO has awarded scholarships to Houston-area high school seniors enrolled in STEM degree programs and supported a University of Houston-Downtown STEM summer camp for local high-achieving, high-risk students. In Corpus Christi, CITGO has created the CITGO Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental & Marine Science at Moody High School, providing students with STEM technology, education tools and the opportunity to participate in field trips and academic competitions and conferences. Additionally, the CITGO Innovation Academy offers professional development training for educators.
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 http://www.citgo.com/.