As the daughter of a teacher, I know how difficult it is to be on your own in the classroom. Sometimes all you need is a little extra help to make your students lessons something that really impacts them and helps them grow in their education experience. Texas Gas Service has stepped up to do just that with funding for teachers in 18 area schools.

Elizabeth O'Hara, Texas Gas Service's regional manager for community relations said that they wanted to be a "formidable partner in education", and they decided to grant requests from the EPISD teachers on the 18 campuses through the DonorsChoose website. The great thing about these projects is that a lot of them are STEM or STEAM-related, and they'll go a long way towards keeping kids engaged during pandemic learning.

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The STEM and STEAM protocols are science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and STEAM is science, technology, engineering, art, math. O'Hara said that the teachers in those disciplines work hard and "never stop working and we hope our gifts made the work a little easier.”

Part of the donations include a 21st century smart board that hooks up to an Apple Tv device and Apple Pencil to do integrated tech learning even in a virtual environment at Jefferson High School. At Parkland High School, Texas Gas purchased tools like hacksaws and drills for kids who were building a robot. Over at Brown Middle School, the donation helped purchase what's called a MINDSTORMS EV3 Core Set and Expansion Set so that the STEM club could enter various LEGO EV3 Robotics competitions. There were other smaller purchases of things like chargers and headphones that kids needed when digital learning began.

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It's so nice to see corporate involvement in our local schools. The kids they help might go on to make improvements in the long run STEM and STEAM businesses in the future and in the short run, they see the investment being made by the business community in their educations. The schools and teachers funded by Texas Gas Service were:

Andress High: Ms. Mackay
Armendariz: Middle: Ms. Faubion
Barron Elementary: Ms. Croissant
Brown Middle: Mr. Munoz and Mr. Carrillo
Burges High: Mrs. Godinez
Cielo Vista Elementary: Ms. Reza
Powell Elementary: Mrs. Perez
Cooley Elementary: Mrs. Shaffer
Franklin High: Mr. Ferge
Hornedo Middle: Mr. Hernandez
Irvin High: Ms. Hernandez
Jefferson High: Mr. Tellez
Sunrise Mountain Elementary: Ms. Betancourt
MacArthur Intermediate: Mrs. Perez
Magoffin Middle: Ms. Rivera, Ms. Doty
Parkland Middle: Mrs. Hamilton, Mr. de la Pena and Dr. Joslyn
Ross Middle: Ms. Prue
Zach White Elementary: Mrs. Granados and Mrs. Norris

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