- Port Neches-Groves ISD
District receives S.T.E.A.M. Day funding from neighboring industries
Kim Hoyt, Indorama Ventures Port Neches Operations Site Manager explains to a group of elementary students about the S.T.E.A.M. Day donation it made to the school district, with the help of the Beaumont Children's Museum, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 at the PNGISD Administration Building. (Mike Tobias/PNGISD)
BY MIKE TOBIAS
The district's third and fourth grade received a slice of new funding geared toward S.T.E.A.M. education.
Representatives from Indorama Ventures and the Beaumont Children's Museum met with our district elementary school principals and administrators Tuesday to present a check for $57,000 to the 3rd and 4th grade teachers that will be used toward S.T.E.A.M. kits for their classrooms.
PNGISD was one of three districts (along with Nederland and Bridge City) the entities visited on Tuesday, using money raised during successful fundraising events last summer to provide for Tuesday's opportunity to celebrate National S.T.E.A.M. Day.
Each of these districts provide access to the STEMscopes curriculum to their teachers to use in their classroom. To alleviate the burden of teachers finding ways to purchase the needed supplies for
these lessons, BCM and Indorama purchased the Tool Kits, Hands-On Kits, and Consumable Kits for the educators to be successful while using this curriculum.
Currently, a project like a "Pumpkin Pie In A Bag" meant a teacher would have to serve up their own money to make the project happen.
"Usually, supplying the supplies comes out of my pocket," Amy Balsamo, Taft Elementary teacher, said. "So, getting all the supplies in these kits will be a big help."
BCM and Indorama came together in late 2021 to create a partnership to increase their impact of S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education and recycling initiatives in the Southeast Texas area.
"We are so excited to partner with our good friends at Beaumont Children’s Museum to help enhance S.T.E.A.M. tools in the classroom with the immersive and interactive STEMscopes kits and S.T.E.A.M. grants," Kim Hoyt, Indorama Ventures Port Neches Operations Site Manager, said.
"High-quality K-12 curriculum and tools help improve science proficiency levels, increases knowledge retention and promotes an interest and deeper understanding in these technical disciplines.
"S.T.E.A.M. education and interest are critical to sustaining the refining and petrochemical metropolis we all benefit from Region 5."
Along with the gift of kits, BCM and Indorama have created a new S.T.E.A.M. grant application open to ALL K-12 educators within the Region 5 Educational Service Center’s schools. These educators will be able to apply for a grant, of up to $5,000 in funds, to use in their classroom to help enhance their already existing S.T.E.A.M. education lessons with more tools and resources.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Indorama Ventures through the efforts to support the needs of school districts in the region that we both serve," Amanda Yarbrough, Executive Director of BCM, said.
"We know that these STEMscope kits and S.T.E.A.M. grants will help enhance the classroom and support many of our communities’ teachers.”
A total of $50,000 has been reserved to help fulfill as many grants as possible that will be awarded in the new year. The grant application is currently available online at BeaumontChildrensMuseum.org and will close on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at 5 p.m.
"PNGISD has always been able to team up with many of our local refineries and businesses," Superintendent Mike Gonzales said. "Because we have really good relationships with them, our teaching staff and our students have benefitted from that and I believe we will continue to benefit in the future."