DATE:  September 21, 2004
CONTACT: Carrie Coursey, Advancement Coordinator, (361) 825-2989; Steve Paschal, Public Affairs, (361) 825-2336
Dedication of Science Observatorium Reflects CITGO’s Commitment to Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

The observatory in the Science and Technology building at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will be named the CITGO Science Observatorium during a dedication ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 23 from 7:30-9 p.m. Tours of the observatorium will follow the dedication ceremony.

The CITGO Science Observatorium symbolizes CITGO’s ongoing support and commitment to the University through the CITGO Mathematics and Science Challenge. Over the years, CITGO Refining & Chemicals, LP has awarded numerous scholarships to education majors at A&M-Corpus Christi. The CITGO Challenge scholarships are renewable for a maximum of four years for qualified undergraduates desiring to complete either elementary or secondary level teacher certification with a specialization in mathematics and science.

According to the latest statistics released by the State Board of Education Certification, in 2002 approximately 2,900 math teachers and 2,505 science teachers retired or left teaching in Texas alone. In addition, there were 5,049 middle school (55 percent) and 4,019 high school (35 percent) uncertified instructors teaching math. In science there were 4,196 middle school (54 percent) and 4,077 high school (51 percent) teachers without certification.

 “The United States is falling way behind other countries in math and the sciences and the point of this challenge is to encourage students to pursue opportunities in these areas,” said Chuck Cazales, Manager of Government and Public Affairs at CITGO. “We’re more than pleased with our partnership with A&M-Corpus Christi and the observatorium is a testament to both organizations’ support of the sciences.”