What a great time in Midland, Texas! We rolled into town last night, just in time for dinner. After a gut-busting meal of barbecue and beer, we decided we liked Midland just fine!
We had the pleasure of visiting two great schools in Midland; San Jacinto Junior High and Midland Academy Charter School. San Jacinto has the distinction of being George “Dubya” Bush’s middle school. We can see why he grew up to be a U.S. President: the teachers and students were terrific! The robotics and technical writing students asked a ton of thoughtful questions. Not only did they absorb the program, but they cared about whether NGVs were permanent alternatives to gasoline cars. (This is big oil country, don’t forget). Our favorite question was whether nat gas prices would increase and make NGVs cost-prohibitive once people became dependent on nat gas cars like they are on oil based cars now. These kids were SMART! A special shout out to science teacher Curt Cowdrey, who stalked us after he found out we already had a Midland school lined up, and wouldn’t let go till we agreed to visit! He’s a huge asset to his school.
We had an equally great experience at Midland Academy. The charter school is smaller than most public schools, so we had a cozy group in the school library. The 7th, 8th and 9th graders were really engaged and also asked good questions. They wanted to know whether nat gas could be used for jet engine fuel and whether we foresaw other alternative fuel sources, such as hydrogen or solar powered cars. Murry put on his scientist hat and did a great job of explaining what was realistic to expect in the future. Our thanks to science teacher Andra Lancaster for her enthusiasm in organizing the program. It was fun to see Andra’s eyes light up when talking about the new things she would do with her science classes with the donation money they received.
We ended the programs by telling the kids that we can only predict the future — THEY are the ones who will control it. We are so impressed by the quality of the middle school students and teachers in America today. We know our future is in great hands.