BASF donation to Bob Hope Elementary School creates state-of-the-art STEM lab

Published 10:38 am Wednesday, August 31, 2022

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Children at Bob Hope Elementary School will soon have a state-of-the-art STEM lab following a $20,000 donation from BASF TotalEnergies LLC.

“BASF TotalEnergies Petrochemical out in Port Arthur is really excited to present this check to Bob Hope Elementary School so that we can further STEM with young people,” said Shelly Vitanza, who works in community & government affairs manager at BASF. “We believe it’s really important that young people at an early age are exposed to science, technology, engineering and math. And we believe that it helps them to become future leaders.

“So we can’t wait for this all to come together — for all the equipment and the books and everything to get here. And we’ll be back for the grand opening to show it to the kiddos.”

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Campus Director Meredith Braner said students from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade will utilize the STEM lab.

“We have a rotation schedule so everyone gets to enjoy the opportunities this room has. In here there’s going to be a 3D printer, a lot of technology and a unique system that up to 10 kids can work on at once,” Braner said. “We’re going to have virtual reality headsets, so they’ll get to do really cool activities, and lots of reading with books that are related to STEM, which is very neat.

“We are just super excited to have this opportunity. I think that our kids are going to hopefully get engaged in it enough that it’ll be something that will affect them for life.”