Get Ready! Chevron and Its 'STEM ZONE' Return, Raising the Excitement Level for Expo 2016!
At Festival Expo 2016, scheduled for April 16-17 in Washington, D.C., Chevron will once again raise the excitement level up a notch with its amazing Chevron STEM ZONE -- a virtual smorgasbord of dynamic, hands-on science demonstrations and activities! Located all in one 3600 square-foot location, the STEM ZONE allows visitors to experience for themselves how STEM is applied in the real world.
At last year's Expo, Chevron, which joins the Festival for the second consecutive time as a Sponsor, was particularly impressed with the high level of enthusiasm and energy that the event generated among students, teachers and other visitors alike, says Blair Blackwell, Manager of Education and Corporate Programs at Chevron. "You could literally feel the excitement from the moment you walked into the Washington, D.C. Convention Center [where the Expo was held] as young students and others from numerous parts of the country explored a wide range of activities with STEM role models," she recalls.
Blair adds: "I also remember that the students came in droves and stayed all day. Chevron is proud to return as a Festival Sponsor and to be a part of -- and to contribute to-- that level of excitement, which is so important if we are to train and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers." This includes, she says, giving students the chance to reap the many rewards that STEM has to offer, such as good paying jobs and the opportunity to solve some of the most daunting challenges facing the world today.
To help contribute to this atmosphere nationwide, Chevron is reaching out in dynamic ways to students and teachers through stimulating initiatives like the STEM ZONE -- plus solid partnerships with non-profit organizations like Project Lead the Way (PLTW), through which participating schools solve real-life challenges via engineering curriculum, and the Fab Foundation (which partners with Chevron to bring fabrication labs, or Fab Labs, to areas where Chevron operates in the U.S.) Chevron partnerships also help students and teachers alike get the inspiration, tools and resources they need to take advantage of every opportunity that STEM offers.
This is why interactive, hands-on experiences like the STEM ZONE are so powerful, Blair explains. "In this single exhibit location, students with their teachers, parents and others can immerse themselves in a wide variety of activities -- ranging from making 'squishy' electrical circuits with play-doh to experiencing the fascination of 3D printing and hydrogen fuel cells -- all demonstrating how exciting and relevant science and engineering is" and which can translate into positive approaches in the classroom as well.
Playing an important role in the STEM ZONE next year will be PLTW and the Fab Foundation, which will include participation from high school and college students from these programs and elsewhere who are currently training or aspiring to be educators in STEM and STEM professionals. At the STEM ZONE these students will serve as mentors in science and engineering for young learners.
Says Blair: "During these interactions involving K-12 students and future STEM educators, everyone wins. The young learners gain from the knowledge and experience of the college students, while the college students gain valuable insight into how to relate to young learners, especially in making science come alive for them."
For the Expo, Chevron will also participate in Sneak Peek Friday, a highly popular all-day experience which gives schools, military families and others who cannot attend the Expo on the scheduled day a chance to preview the event's exhibits a day earlier.
Long a committed supporter of education and STEM, Chevron invested nearly $95 million in education worldwide last year and in the U.S. and has pledged an additional $30 million through 2015 to support STEM education.
For more information on Chevron’s education programs and partnerships, visit http://www.chevron.com/education