Martinez Refinery supports STEM through Ignited program

Community News

Ignited participants

Since 2016, MPC's Martinez, California, refinery has been a part of Ignited, a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit that places STEM teachers in summer fellowships at companies, universities, government labs and foundations. Ignited’s mission is to connect business leaders and scientists with teachers to transform the classroom experience, inspiring students to become the next generation of innovators.

In 2016, the Martinez refinery welcomed one teacher to join the organization during an eight-week summer break. This year, the refinery enhanced its engagement with Ignited and supported three teachers to join the Training and Development organization at MPC.

“This is my ninth fellowship over the last 22 years, and each one has added tremendous value along the different waypoints of my career path,” shared Alhambra High School math and computer science teacher and Ignited participant Andrea Salas. “Since public education notoriously lags industry when it comes to adopting new technologies, each fellowship has allowed me to move my students forward through the lessons and resources I developed coupled with the technology skills I picked up along the way.”

“There are plenty of aspects to be admired while working in Marathon Martinez: the strong bond between the employees in the training department, strong work ethics, the appreciation of sense of humor and the constant work to excel and improve,” emphasized Oakland Charter High School math teacher Raghda Abouelnaga. “I now have an image of employee criteria to share with my students.”

Adam Liebow, Vista Grande Elementary science teacher, spent two Ignited experiences with Marathon Petroleum’s Martinez refinery. “Working for Marathon Petroleum’s Martinez refinery the last two years has been an eye-opening experience,” he said. “While in the Training Department, I have been included in a group of individuals who work as a team to improve the learning environment for everyone at the refinery.”

“This program is a win/win,” stated Patty Deutsche, government and public affairs manager at the refinery. “For the teacher, they gain valuable work experience outside the classroom that they not only bring back to their students, but the program requires them to share with their fellow teachers as well. And they can now testify first-hand to hundreds of students/teachers each year about our commitment to safety and the environment.”