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CITGO expands Innovation Academy presence in Texas

Published by , Deputy Editor
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

CITGO Petroleum Company recently announced that the West Oso Independent School District has approved the launch of a CITGO Innovation Academy in Corpus Christi, Texas. This is the fourth CITGO Innovation Academy established in the Corpus Christi region and the seventh Innovation Academy established in the CITGO operational footprint.

The CITGO Innovation Academy at West Oso school district programming will introduce and encourage students to explore career paths in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). By inspiring and nurturing creative, ethical and scientific minds that advance the world through questioning, collaboration, personalised learning and use of technology and outreach, participants will be well-prepared for STEM college or technical programmes.

The school district will utilise the Project Lead The Way Pre-K-12 Engineering and Computer Science curricula. Project Lead the Way (PLTW) provides the most comprehensive and rigorous Engineering and Computer Science programming for schools. PLTW curriculum will be used in Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth grade classrooms for the 2018-2019 academic school year. On line PLTW training will be provided for junior high teachers. The program will also include after school robotics clubs for K-12.

"Corpus Christi has welcomed CITGO STEM Innovation Academies with open arms," said Trina Martinez, CITGO Vice President & General Manager, Corpus Christi Refinery. "West Oso will be our fourth Academy in the city since 2013. Seeing what the students have been able to accomplish with sophisticated STEM resources is absolutely inspiring. And that inspiration is contagious; more and more students are getting involved in the programmes leading us to support more academies."

A donation from CITGO will also fund STEM-oriented training for two junior high school teachers and an expanded robotics programme for students.

"I am excited that the CITGO Innovation Academy will spark the curiosity of our talented students, generating dynamic, positive and enriching experiences that go beyond the classroom," added West Oso ISD Superintendent of Schools Conrado Garcia. 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, three more Innovation Academies have been implemented at Cunningham Middle School and Garcia Elementary School, both in Corpus Christi, and E.K. Key Elementary School in Sulphur, Louisiana. Another two were recently approved in Lemont, Illinois and Houston, Texas.

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, Louisiana; and Lemont, Illinois. Since the initiative's inception, CITGO has awarded more than US$1.5 million toward programs that promote the importance of STEM education and provide educators with the resources they need.

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