More students are returning to school this month with fresh perspectives about the petrochemical industry and careers thanks to the EnergyVenture summer camp.
Over the last eight years, EnergyVenture has introduced 1,500 students, ages 12-15, to the energy industry and the lucrative careers of engineering, process technology, geology and others strongly linked to the science, technology, engineering and math fields.
"EnergyVenture is designed for young people to learn about jobs that they typically have never heard about such as process technologist, engineer and geologist," said Linda Drobnich, business development manager for the Continuing and Professional Development (CPD) division at San Jacinto College. "We’re able to offer this opportunity with help from our local employers. It is because of their generosity that we can educate their future workforce."
EnergyVenture students are able to attend the week-long camp for free, thanks to sponsorships by Gold Level
Sponsor, Shell, and other companies including Air Products, Braskem America, CenterPoint Energy, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, DuPont-Bayport, The Kaneka Foundation, The Lubrizol Corporation, LyondellBasell, Occidental Chemical Corporation and the TPC Group.
Each day of the camp presents new activities related to the petrochemical industry and the STEM fields, like making root beer with dry ice. In the process, students discuss the chemical properties of dry ice and the feedstock or raw materials needed to make root beer. Students also visit a local plant for tours and hear from employees about the pay, job duties and education necessary to enter into the workforce.
"This camp provides a great way for these kids to learn about the cool jobs that even I didn’t know about when I was their age," said Melanie Mares, EnergyVenture teacher assistant who is San Jac Certified after graduating from San Jacinto College this year with her associate degree in education. "They learn about the importance of the energy field, but they also have a lot of fun doing so throughout the entire week."
EnergyVenture students take an energy industry pre-test during their first day of camp and a post-test on 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.
However, just because a student completes EnergyVenture camp doesn’t mean it’s over. San Jacinto College follows up each year with camp alumni, offering additional hands-on activities at a weekend program to maintain their interest. The goal is to bring students back each winter for an annual reunion and move them forward in the program until they’re ready to interview for a job in the energy field. To learn more about EnergyVenture, visit www.energyventurecamp.org.
View a complete San Jacinto College summer camp wrap-up at https://youtu.be/eyVUVbNEcc4.