EnergyVenture recognized for outstanding education during Celebration of STEM Education Week in Texas

05.19.2014 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao

Acknowledged for its continual outreach, organization, program structure, and participation monitoring, the EnergyVenture summer camp through San Jacinto College was recently recognized as Outstanding STEM Educational Program during the recent Celebration of STEM Education Week in Texas.

EnergyVenture began seven years ago with the goal to educate students, ages 12-15, on the energy industry, with a strong focus on the science, technology, engineering, and math fields; and in particular, career paths in engineering, process technology, and geology. So far, the program has introduced 1,163 students to the oil and gas industry, including 143 who attended last summer.

"EnergyVenture is designed for young people to learn while having fun," said Linda Drobnich, business development manager for the Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division at San Jacinto College. "Participants perform lab experiments, win prizes for 'best in class' team efforts, take a 'behind the scenes' tour of an energy-related production facility, and hear from guest speakers who work in the field."

The week-long camp is free for participants, thanks to sponsorship by Shell, with additional financial and program support from Air Products, Braskem America, CenterPoint Energy, Chevron Phillips, DuPont - Bayport, Hess Corporation, Kaneka Texas Corporation, Lubrizol, LyondellBasell, Occidental Chemical Corporation, Solvay, Siemens, and TPC Group.  Corporate partners provide the scholarships, which pay for all of the expenses associated with the camp.

Students take an energy industry pre-test the first day of camp and a post-test the last day of camp. On average, students have scored 46 points higher on their energy industry post-test. Setting goals and reporting the results is a critical part of the EnergyVenture program. 

“The likelihood of these individuals staying in the Gulf Coast region to meet the future employment demands due to growth in the industry and retirement of current workers is greater if they know they have good employment choices in the region,” said Drobnich.

San Jacinto College follows up with camp alumni, offering additional hands-on activities at a weekend program to maintain their interest. The goal is to bring them back each winter for an annual reunion, moving them forward in the program each winter until they’re ready to interview for a job in the energy field.

"EnergyVenture stands out as an Outstanding STEM Educational Program for its engagement of students and exploration of the STEM careers," said Doren Schott, OD specialist with the CITGO Petroleum Corporation and a member of the STEM Education Day awards committee that selected EnergyVenture. "More importantly, participants remain a part of the program once camp concludes with invitations to come back for mid-year STEM activities."

To find out more about EnergyVenture, visit www.sanjac.edu/energy-venture-camp.

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit www.sanjac.edu, or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SanJacintoCollege.