PINEDALE – Pinedale Middle School students became “Artist Explorers” as the school year came to a close thanks to a STEAM-based arts residency funded by Tesoro Logistics and Sublette BOCES and presented by the Pinedale Fine Arts Council (PFAC).
Instructors Tyler and Monica Aiello, from the Denver-based education organization Eurekus, worked with Clare Haynie’s sixth-through-eighth-grade STEM students, focusing on basic and more complex elements of engineering through the construction of small colorful machines.
Sixth-grade students constructed simple machine Mars rovers out of shoeboxes while seventh-grade students constructed motor racers with simple circuits and propellers. Eighth-graders made “Skitter Critters,” using complex electronics and designing light-activated robots. At the end of the week, the seventh-graders even raced their motor racers down the halls of Pinedale Middle School.
The Tesoro Foundation recently awarded a $15,000 grant to PFAC, which funded last week’s Pinedale STEAM programs and will fund the program in Big Piney Middle School next school year with Kim Tanner’s classes.
STEAM is a movement to add the “Arts” into the traditional Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. This helps students think creatively and learn to start from scratch when engineering projects.
“We feel that the arts education effort of PFAC is very important to the communities of Pinedale and Big Piney,” said Tesoro Operations Support Assistant Kristine Burton-Bacheller. “Art works together with science, technology, engineering and math to create a more thorough education opportunity for our students. PFAC brings a program that would be unavailable to the children otherwise. They are most deserving of this grant.”
In 2017, Tesoro will contribute approximately $10 million to charity, half of which will be used to partially endow the Tesoro Foundation. This level of commitment is among the highest in the oil and gas industry.