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March 5th, 2014
Energy is Houston’s lifeblood, and innovation is its future. With a surging economy and corporations scrambling to find enough technologists, necessity became the mother of invention, and the city decided to create its own STEM graduates by founding the Energy Institute High School, a one-year-old magnet school. It is the first high school in the nation to focus on careers in oil, gas, and alternative energy. This year's inaugural class of 200 freshmen had many local students polishing up their advanced math skills as they took required engineering classes. They also specialized in offshore technology, geosciences, or various alternative energies. The school features project-based learning rather than traditional lectures and tests, observed Fuelfix. Instead, students work on complicated assignments in collaborative groups, which help them develop skills like problem solving and public speaking. Students enjoy many perks. They've lunched with ExxonMobil executives, toured energy corporations and observed state-of-the-art technology such as 3-D seismic imaging. Energy professionals also serve on committees, as tutors, mentors, and guest speakers. As the students near graduation, the same local companies will provide them with internships leading to careers, including engineering, robotics, and many others. Check out the video in the panel at right.