Now in its sixth year, the program, underwritten by Chesapeake, provides a hands-on learning experience about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for students from Fort Worth Independent School District. This year, Chesapeake hosted a half-day professional development course where Fort Worth ISD teachers took a tour of a Chesapeake Energy drilling site to prepare them for the annual trail.
“It is our hope that this experience will help encourage students to learn more about science, technology, engineering and mathematics and ultimately lead to careers in those highly sought after fields,” said Chesapeake Community Relations Supervisor Heather Scoggins. “The great addition this year was the professional development of Fort Worth teachers who, by taking part in the rig tour, will be able to serve as a resource for their students and colleagues.”
Students in fourth and fifth grade explored hands-on learning stations set-up along the “trail” that spanned across the TCU campus in Fort Worth.
“The great part is our student teachers are able to prepare a plan, evaluate the successes after each group and immediately implement improvements,” said Sarah Quebec Fuentes, assistant professor at TCU’s College of Education. “This experience helps them so much, as once in the classroom, they may only teach a subject once a year.”
Over the past five years approximately 1,200 students and 100 teachers have participated in the program. The focus on STEM subjects is part of a national effort to ensure that a highly educated workforce continues to be one of the United States’ greatest assets.
“We really want the Fort Worth teachers to go back to their schools and design math and science trails to reach even more students,” said Fuentes. “One of the most exciting things that we have heard is that sometimes the kids have gone back to design trails for their classmates.”