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PA library blazes trails in education Monday

Students visited the Port Arthur Public Library Monday, where they incorporated fun with learning during their summer vacation.
The students participated in the TAME Trailblazer program — a one-of-a-kind science museum on wheels that provides hands-on experience with exhibits teaching about STEM careers such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Based on the number of children participating, interest in the STEM subjects is a good beginning both for the city and for its future leaders.
“I believe in teaching our kids to reach for the stars and if they land on the moon, they are still doing great,” Tiffany Hamilton, District 2 Councilwoman, said.
Hamilton toured the Trailblazer trailer with students Monday morning and saw first hand how learning can be fun, even in fields of study thought to difficult.
“This is an amazing opportunity for our kids,” she said.
Eight-year-old Trae Rideau, in Port Arthur this summer visiting relatives, said he enjoyed the tour.
“I like how you can make stuff blow up, and really like the tornado,”  Trae said of the meteorological learning section.
Matthew Christian, 27, of Port Arthur came with three children of his own and as a representative of CleanCare Daycare.
“We wanted the kids to learn and have fun on their summer break,” Christian said.
Jobs in the STEM fields pay good salaries with a meteorologist making upwards to $100,000 a year, he said.
Talynn Arnold, 10, of Port Arthur, also liked the whirling tornado in the weather section, she said.
“I want to be a meteorologist. You can be on TV and tell people about the weather and get paid a lot,” she said.
To land a job in the field, Arnold said she would need to study science and math — two subjects she said she likes and is good at.
Ranoda McClain Lee, a volunteer for the day representing the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation, imagined a future Port Arthur workforce going through the exhibits.
“This will be good for Port Arthur. These subjects will not only grow a workforce, but one that is skills dominant,” Lee said. “We could expand past the petrochemical industry, perhaps with industry such as IBM or even NASA, and of course you have engineering. At the end of the day, the kids will be workforce ready and so diverse.”
E-mail: sherry.koonce@panews.com
Twitter: skooncePANews