The United States
The schoolchildren of Port Arthur, Texas
In Texas, the association TAME (Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering) has introduced trailers fitted out as science museums. These museums-on-wheels visit the different communities and welcome pupils in their last year of elementary school. Onboard, the children learn all about sciences, technologies, engineering, and mathematics through hands-on, interactive, and fun experiments. For 35 minutes, 30 or so children get to discover an exhibit on meteorology, how tornados form, and how television weather forecasts are prepared.
The objective is to awaken young people’s interest in sciences and encourage them to take up STEM careers. Port Arthur effectively has a high concentration of low-income families from minority groups, and the aim of the program is to create new opportunities for them. It is particularly keen on making sure that the volunteer workers come from all walks of life in order to show the children that whatever their gender, roots, or social background, there’s nothing to stop them choosing a scientific profession.
Since 2013, the TotalEnergies Port Arthur affiliate has been helping to set up this program as part of a partnership with other refineries. Funding is also provided so the association can purchase books and magazines for the classes. Lastly, a dozen volunteer employees each year give of their time in the field to be museum guides and give the children explanations on how the experiments work and how sciences can be applied in practice.
What are the impacts?
Each year, around 115 young people benefit from the program thanks to TotalEnergies’ proactive involvement, i.e. 920 since 2013.