In front of an audience of close to 800 Utah educators and administrative leaders at the 5th annual STEM Best Practices conference in June, Marathon Petroleum was recognized for its commitment to funding STEM education.
Marathon Petroleum was presented with the STEM Dynamo Award in recognition of “their outstanding support of STEM education.” Marathon Petroleum provides the support for the Utah STEM Bus that travels to schools around Utah to increase access to STEM activities for students.
“The support from company partners, such as Marathon Petroleum, increases the STEM Action Center’s ability to reach more students and create innovative programs that help Utah students to dream big, and do big,” said Allison Spencer, director of the Utah STEM Foundation.
The Utah STEM Bus travels to schools and other organizations across the state to provide hands-on, project-based learning for children K-8th grade.
“Having the STEM Bus visit our school was an exciting opportunity for our students,” said Janalee Nielson, a teacher at Wellsville Elementary School. “They loved the hands-on activities that tied to our curriculum. The visit sparked their interest in doing more STEM activities. We hope to have the chance for another STEM visit in the future.”
The STEM Bus aims to generate enthusiasm for STEM careers and supports the governor’s initiative for a STEM-competitive workforce. The program is run through the STEM Action Center, which is part of the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Each school year the STEM Bus visits over 70 schools across Utah. The bus itself was donated by the Utah Transit Authority and was converted to a mobile classroom in 2016.