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Photo by Carrie Pryor-Newman
Anthony Rendon, IEC project engineer with Chevron Phillips Chemical, explains how a catapult works to Jiayi Yang (left), Luis Davila (second from right) and Kiara Amey.
Danielle Gore, (second from right), a chemical engineer at Chevron Phillips Chemical, laughs with Gentry students (from left) Jordan Phillip, Lana Larrabee and Alayna Harville as they use teamwork to build a catapult.
Chevron Phillips Chemical Visits Gentry for E-Week
By: Susan Passmore
For the fifth consecutive year, engineers from Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. worked with seventh-graders in science classes at Gentry Junior School during Engineers Week (E-Week) on March 1. More than 350 students participated in the annual event.
The purpose of Engineers Week, founded by DiscoverE (formerly the National Engineers Week Foundation), is to celebrate how engineers make a difference in the world, increase public dialogue about the need for engineers, and to bring engineering to life for students, educators and parents.
Teams of engineers in each science class, most of them just out of college, explained the different types of engineering disciplines and various jobs they perform. Students were surprised to find out that many of the unfamiliar sounding chemical products manufactured in area plants are actually used to make items they use every day.
After learning about engineering and about catapults, students were divided into teams and challenged to construct a catapult prototype to launch a pom-pom to test the accuracy and power. To test accuracy, teams had five chances to get as many pom-poms as possible into a container using their catapult. The Power Test required launching a pom-pom as far as possible, and teams had two opportunities. Finally, for the Tower Test, teams had two tries to knock down a pyramid of cups in front of them.
“We greatly appreciate the time and dedication that Chevron Phillips engineers commit to our Gentry students each year during E-Week. The students had a fun and educational experience building a catapult and learning about the scientific method,” said Melissa Chapman, science department head.
Gentry students benefit from the educational partnership, but Chevron Phillips Chemical employees reap some rewards from the experience, too. Joanna Martin, a project engineer at Chevron Phillips Chemical’s Baytown facility, said she liked working one-on-one with the students most.
“I like volunteering and getting kids engaged with different types of engineering. Normally, they are not exposed to engineering until they’re in high school,” Martin said. “By hosting this type of event earlier in their education, I hope more kids choose to pursue a STEM-related career before high school is over.”
Consolidated Independent School District
4544 Interstate 10 East | Baytown, Texas 77521 | 281.420.4800
P.O. Box 30 | Baytown, Texas 77522 | 281.420.4800
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