Friday, October 5, 2012

Northbrook Middle science teacher chosen for Fuel Your School Program

Teacher Sheena Guevara and science students hit the Fuel Your School Program jackpot Oct. 4 as the Northbrook Middle School teacher and her students opened box after box of new science laboratory and project materials.

Guevara, a sixth-grade campus science teacher, was chosen by program sponsors Chevron and to be the Houston-area educator whose classroom projects would be funded and publicized first publicly through the Fuel Your School Program.

Chevron and are collaborating to support public education, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to help prepare students interested in advanced technical jobs, and promote learning in these areas.

In addition to Ms. Guevara’s classroom, 46 other projects at 17 Spring Branch ISD schools have been funded through this new program. Many other classroom projects in SBISD will be funded, too, based on teacher-submitted requests and available funds.

Through, classroom needs submitted by teachers are matched to the Harris County region. From Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, Chevron will donate $1 on behalf of drivers who fuel up with 8 or more gallons of gas at participating Chevron or Texaco stations. Working with Chevron on the classroom funding projects is the online charity

The unveiling of Ms. Guevara’s boxes in her classroom Thursday morning followed remarks by Chevron, and SBISD officials. Students and teacher immediately took to the new classroom materials, which included digital scales, digital microscope, a document camera, additional safety equipment and an outdoor rocket launcher.

“My students have a natural curiosity that motivates them to explore and discover,” Sheena said. “The tools Fuel Your School has funded will really spark their interests and make learning fun. I can’t wait to let them examine cells up close with the digital microscope and experience how energy transfer works through the energy conversion sets and bottle rocket launcher.”

Earlier this year, Ms. Guevara was selected as the teacher representative for the JASON Project, which included a week spent on the Aegean Sea exploring ancient sea beds and underwater life. “Chevron cares about students, and Chevron cares about your community,” said Chevron’s Joni Baird, who manages government and public affairs for the corporation.

She noted that in the last three years, Chevron has contributed about $100 million to education in the United States.

Well-educated science and mathematics students are vital to both the nation and to corporations like Chevron, she said. Potentially, up to $1 million in classroom supplies and equipment can be distributed through the Fuel Your School Program.

Carolina Martin, a vice president with, talked about the importance of online donations. Since it began a decade ago, has raised more than $125 million for public school projects.

Eighty percent of verified projects costing less than $400 are fully funded. SBISD Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Jennifer Blaine told students that the school district’s new five-year plan will help each and every student focus on earning either a technical, two-year, or four-year college degree.

This plan is known in the SBISD community as T-2-4. Speaking of STEM careers, she said, “The jobs in the future will be in fields that we don’t even know about today.” Industry experts predict that large numbers of new jobs will rely on science and math skills.

These jobs will grow more quickly than others. The U.S. Commerce Dept. last year projected that STEM jobs will grow by 17 percent between 2008 and 2018, compared with about 10 percent for others. Such jobs will pay salaries that are 26 higher, too, Assistant Superintendent Blaine told students.

“When your parents are out driving and it’s time to fill their car up, where will you tell them to go?” she asked the students rhetorically. “Chevron!” the students cheered. Chevron’s Fuel Your School Program began in California’s Alameda and Contra Costa counties in 2010.

Since then, it has funded 3,242 classroom projects at 645 schools. This year, it expands to nine U.S. markets, including Harris County, and nearly $5 million in supplies may be issued.

For details on this program or these organizations, please visit the following sites:


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