by Abby Doring, Van ISD
VAN, Texas – Recently, Van Independent School District announced a forthcoming STEAM Bus road trip to far West Texas -an ambitious project slated for the summer of 2024. The excursion, being branded as the “Western STEAM Tour,” will feature stops at rural schools and Texas landmarks. During these stops, Van ISD educators will share best practices in STEAM learning and offer hands-on experiences to students.
STEAM, an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics, is a platform that emphasizes innovative and engaging opportunities that usually involve a degree of problem-solving using the five STEAM components.
The Van STEAM Bus has been in use since 2019. It was an in-house project with most work being completed by Van ISD staff members and students. The endeavor was made possible by a financial gift from Chevron. Victron Energy also contributed to the project.
VISD is seeking corporate sponsors for the 1,500 mile road trip to West Texas as the “Western STEAM Tour” will rely solely on sponsorship dollars. The consulting firm of Kellogg and Sovereign recently signed on as the first corporate sponsor of the project. The school district’s CTO, Jason Johnson, had this to say, “We have been given a great gift in this STEAM Bus. Our students have really benefited from the hands-on learning experiences afforded through the bus and we would like to ‘pay it forward’ in a sense, and share this with other students in our state who may not otherwise have these opportunities.”
Van ISD is a public school district in East Texas. CmTently, they have an enrollment of just under 2,500 students. According to the Texas Education Agency, they are an “A” rated school district.
The tour is tentatively scheduled for June of 2024 and will make appearances at summer schools and STEAM camps all across West Texas and Big Bend country. Anyone interested in sponsoring this first-of-its kind event or scheduling a stop at their school, should visit vansteambus.org.