The Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program partners are bolstering STEM education in the Chicago, Ill., area with donations totaling $400,000. Also, Stockton (Calif.) Terminal and Eastern Railroad, a managed affiliate of OmniTRAX, presented a community donation to the Waterloo-Morada Fire District in honor of Pacific Northwest Oil.
The CREATE partners—U.S. Department of Transportation, state of Illinois, Cook County, city of Chicago, Metra, Amtrak, the Association of American Railroads, BNSF, Belt Railway of Chicago, Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, CSX, Indiana Harbor Belt, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific—on May 13 presented grants totaling $200,000 to the Chicago Public Schools, Leo High School, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Chicago Public Library through the Library Foundation. They will be used for the 2022-23 school year to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education within CREATE’s 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project area. (The project broke ground in 2018 to eliminate a Chicago chokepoint.) The CREATE partners donated a total of $200,000 to the same group for the 2021-22 school year.
Partner investments allow for the creation of STEM clubs, learning partnerships, and development or enhancement of school makerspaces. Additionally, employees from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH), and the CREATE program’s railroads visit classrooms to demonstrate building structure, street design and railroad crossing design.
“We appreciate the CREATE program’s vision and support to help our students see how STEM lessons are part of our everyday lives and community projects,” Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said. “We know that once classroom lessons are brought to life, our students’ natural curiosity will take over to further their learning in STEM and in making their community even stronger.”
With contributions to the Chicago Public Library Foundation provided by the CREATE Program, the Library offered robust online and hands-on programming developed around the 2021 Summer Learning Challenge theme of “Start With Art!” Community members were able to visit neighborhood branches to collect a free activity book and grab-and-go kits filled with puzzles, design challenges and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities. The Norfolk Southern Foundation donated an additional $30,000 to the Chicago Public Library’s 2021 Summer Learning Challenge as well as its ongoing ScienceConnections initiative, which encourages students in kindergarten through 8th grade to explore STEM.
“Norfolk Southern is proud to partner with the Chicago Public Library Foundation and we are grateful for this opportunity to go beyond our tracks to provide a positive impact in the communities in which we live and work,” Norfolk Southern Foundation Director of Corporate Giving LaSandra Boykin said.
Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad (STE) presented a $1,000 donation to the Waterloo-Morada Fire District at a recent ceremony honoring Pacific Northwest Oil, STE’s recipient of the 2021 OmniTRAX Safe Shipper Award. The award recognizes “companies that model exemplary shipping safety by shipping or receiving loaded cars with no accidental releases during the previous year,” according to Denver, Colo.-based OmniTRAX, the transportation affiliate of The Broe Group.
“The Waterloo-Morada Fire District applauds Pacific Northwest Oil for their continued commitment to safety excellence,” said Fire Chief Eric Walder, whose district provides fire protection, prevention and suppression, hazardous material, water rescue, and emergency medical services to the communities of Morada and Waterloo, Calif, which border the STE. “We also extend our sincere thanks to Stockton Terminal and Eastern Railroad for their generous donation to our fire district, providing invaluable support to keep our communities safe.”
“Shipping safety is a core company value and a shared commitment with our shipping partners,” OmniTRAX Senior Vice President of Operations John Bradley said. “We are pleased to recognize a two-time award winner that continues to demonstrate a consistent commitment to safety.”