Meeting the Bishop's Challenge
At the 2012 Annual Conference, Bishop Huie challenged us to team up with local schools so on Friday, November 30, 2012, volunteers from McKinney Memorial United Methodist Church and the Dow Chemical Company. We partnered to staff the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering trailer, “Trailblazer” at La Marque Middle School’s new Renaissance Academy. The Trailblazer is the only interactive science and engineering museum-on-wheels in Texas. The Trailblazer visits schools and community events throughout the state helping raise students’ awareness of and motivation to pursue careers in science and engineering. Volunteers were stationed throughout the trailer to provide demonstrations and explanations. The 40 ft. trailer, for which Dow is a Gold level sponsor, contains 8 exhibits: Magical Magnets, Energy for Tomorrow, Space Matters, The Power of Weather, The Need for Speed, The Miracle of Medicine, Eyes and Ears, and Gyroscope.
This year’s event included volunteers from McKinney UMC: Carol Johnson; Lena Summlin, Brenda Matthews, Emily Smith, Danna Johnson, and Mr. Watson.
Over the course of the day, over 130 students ranging from 5th to 9th grades were guided through the trailer while the trained volunteers provided explanations and demonstrations of all the exhibits. At the end of the tour, each student was presented with a keepsake from the Dow Chemical Company to remember the day.
All the volunteers involved agreed that the event was a success judging by the looks on the students faces as they moved from exhibits on space to a generator shooting sparks through the air. There were moments when it was debatable who was having more fun: the students or the teachers.