Chemical industry bucket assembly gives science teachers products and STEM careers to share with students

Chemical industry leaders show off products being manufactured at area plants to teachers through a bucket assembly at Harris County Department of Education, 6300 Irvington, July 18, from noon to 1 p.m. “Science Teachers and Industry,” an annual, summer workshop held for secondary science teachers and sponsored by the Texas Chemical Council gives the teachers a better understanding of the chemical industry and Houston-area chemical plants. This year chemical industry leaders focus on educating students about STEM career opportunities available in the industry.

Academic science specialists and industry experts present a full scope of environmental viewpoints during the four-day workshop held July 17-20. Included are a field trip to a chemical plant, an overview of the Houston Ship Channel, careers in the chemical industry, and materials and experiments to take back to the classroom. The companies also use the opportunity to reinforce their concern for the health and safety of its workers, community and the environment.

HCDE science curriculum director Lisa Felske coordinates the workshop and says the teachers meet chemical engineers, plant managers and other industry professionals as they tour a chemical plant each year. While at HCDE, teachers get an overview of the cycling of plastics–from raw materials to manufactured products to plastic recycling.

“Previous years had a focus on air and water quality,” Felske said. “This year we focus on careers in the chemical manufacturing industry.  We have industry representatives as well as career and technical education representatives to talk to the teachers about STEM careers.”

For more information about HCDE educator professional development and training, access www.hcde-texas.org.

About Harris County Department of Education: HCDE helps school districts in the state’s largest county meet the needs of uniquely challenged learners, directly serving students at their schools or one of four HCDE-operated campuses across the county. Learn about these services and more at www.hcde-texas.org.



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