TCS Teams up with Halliburton to bring goIT to Houston Students
When bringing goIT to a school, TCS strives to create an experience for students that brings an entire community into the classroom. As a company who puts the community at the core of our business practices, we are building on the belief that we make greater impact through partnerships with our business partners when working together towards a common goal. For that reason, TCS partnered with energy giant, Halliburton in Houston, TX, to bring goIT to schools that Halliburton supports through their independent community outreach efforts.
TCS associates Satyendra Chauhan (Client Partner) and Raghu Nechulli Puthan Veedu (Director of American Business Development in Energy), who work closely with Halliburton, were quick to recognize the overlap in community support, and connected the goIT team with Halliburton’s Community Relations Manager, Melissa Sowell. Understanding the value goIT could bring to both students and associates, Sowell introduced the goIT team to leadership in the Humble and Aldine school districts.
Shaina Glass, the Director for Technology Applications and STEM at Aldine ISD said, “This feels like a gift fell in my lap. I’ve been looking for ways to engage our middle school learners in technology education, and goIT is a perfect fit.” She agreed to pilot the program with the STEM academies, Drew and Grantham, as consideration prior to integrating the program into their full school curriculum.
Connie Schaut, the coordinator for the STEM Academy in Timberwood Middle School in Humble ISD had a similar reaction to goIT’s innovative content. She and her STEM teacher, Brandi West, were both eager to introduce the program to their 7th grade students.
From March to May, through the pandemic, a Texas freeze, flooding, and state testing, teachers at the three schools facilitated goIT to over 200 students. Through the program, TCS and Halliburton associates played a significant role in the program, by giving their time away from work to provide project feedback, as well as inspiring students to pursue careers in computer science by sharing their own career journeys.
Shane Miller, Senior Director of Global Infrastructure Services at Halliburton, was a repeat volunteer in the classroom, and delivered the keynote fireside chat during the culmination. When asked what drove him to volunteer, he said, “Explaining to students that they are intelligent and valuable and that they can participate in the technology revolution creates self-esteem and hope. Having them do an actual project that has a deliverable while they are surrounded by encouraging professionals further helps them understand that they are valuable. Professional people taking time out of their days just because they care about these students and their futures has to have a lasting positive impact on these students.”
Halliburton is serious about their commitment to the schools and the partnership with TCS. Ken Braud, the CIO of Halliburton, showed his support by attending the final showcase in May to deliver some words of wisdom to the students. Additionally, Susanna Sabbagh, a Halliburton VP and President of their foundation, agreed to sponsor prizes for the winning teams that were awarded to the schools.
Both school and corporate stakeholders reflect on the program as incredibly successful. Blanca Gonzales, a teacher from MacArthur High School Grantham Academy, called goIT the highlight of the year. Timberwood Middle School loved the program so much, they trained an additional teacher and facilitated goIT with their entire 8th grade class. Both schools agreed that bringing professionals into the classroom, especially during the pandemic when schools could not otherwise provide outside opportunities to students. West said, “we love to have outside opportunities to allow students to grow and citizens and solve real problems. This can be difficult to organize and implement however Hillary and her team at TCS and Haliburton made this process smooth and successful.”
These initial programs between Halliburton and TCS are sparking what will be a long partnership that will hope to make technology education more accessible schools in Houston. Next year, while Timberwood plans to run the program again with both 7th and 8th grade students, Aldine is hoping to bring goIT to all 15 of its middle schools across the district. At TCS, we are excited that goIT is making possible opportunities for students to meet professionals while shifting the way students and teachers approach technology education.
If you are looking for ways to deepen engagement with goIT, reach out to Hillary.email@example.com to learn more!