Del Valle Middle, High School receive $75k grant to support students pursuing careers in STEM

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Del Valle Middle School and Del Valle High School are set to join Thursday for a STEM student showcase to celebrate a $75,000 grant to support the schools’ manufacturing career pathway.

The grant, from Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC), intends to provide students the skills they need to pursue high-demand, high-wage jobs after graduation.

According to YISD officials, the grant will be used to purchase supplies and equipment that include 3D printers and a water bath for the high school, costing $40,000. The grant will also help the schools purchase soldering and electrical kits, robotics, and laptops for Del Valle Middle robotics teams, costing $35,000.

Ultimately, the goal is to increase enrollment and engagement in certain STEM courses and extracurricular activities, officials said.

“The intent is to prepare students with basic knowledge of the newer technologies in the workplace,” said Fernando Marquez, YISD Career & Technical Education director. “In the case of manufacturing, automation is key and computer systems rule, but this is very different from the basic tools found in shop class.”

At Del Valle Middle School, the grant will support students in learning the fundamental skills of programming, electrical, drafting, and soldering in preparation for engaging in STEM activities at a higher level in high school.

At Del Valle High School, the new equipment will aid students in learning the 3D printing process and other relevant technologies that prepare them for a high-tech manufacturing and engineering world.

“We focus on community investments that make measurable differences in people’s lives, targeting priorities that include workforce development,” said V.J. Smith, MPC stakeholder engagement manager. “This grant perfectly supports our goals because it lays a foundation for building careers that otherwise might not exist for many students.”

MPC operates the nation’s largest refining system, including a refinery just a few miles east of downtown El Paso. MPC has awarded more than $300,000 in grants to El Paso-area schools.

The STEM Student Showcase will take place at Del Valley Middle School on October 21. Ysleta ISD superintendent, Dr. Xavier De La Torre, MPC representatives, and Del Valle students, teachers, and principals will attend the event.

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