Chevron Phillips Chemical Announces Winners of Super Cool Career Shades Challenge

THE WOODLANDS, TX (May 5, 2016) – Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP (Chevron Phillips Chemical) is pleased to announce the winners of its Super Cool Career Shades Challenge, a social media campaign encouraging southeast Texas teens to think about their future careers.

Karl Branch, an eighth-grade student at St. Anthony Catholic School in Beaumont, Texas, was selected as the Grand Prize winner and was awarded an iPad mini, plus $2,000 for his school science program during a special awards assembly on Wednesday, May 4.

For his entry, Branch submitted a video of a Rube Goldberg experiment which used an inclined plane, screw, pulley, lever and wedge to pop a balloon after a series of triggered movements.

“Someday I want to be a mechanical engineer,” said Branch. “Right now, I look at items around me, take ideas from what I observe, add them together and see what I can create. I’ll usually draw out my ideas and then file them away until I have time to make them a reality. I really want to create and build items that can help other people and do things they never imagined possible.”

Branch did just that when earlier this year he took advantage of a cooler sitting in a trash pile and engineered it to create a small, portable air conditioning unit that runs on solar panels for potential use in underprivileged countries. Eventually, Branch hopes to work with a local university to refine the design and usability before seeking endorsements to support larger production.

“We are thrilled with the response of the students in the southeast Texas region who participated in the Challenge and who want to be everything from lawyers and therapists to engineers and veterinarians,” said Peter Cella, president and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical. “In addition to these great careers, there are a number of jobs available to those who pursue 2-year degrees or certifications as a process operator, welder, technician, pipe fitter and more. To ensure economic vitality in our communities, we must all work together to prepare young people for successful careers.”

Also recognized for their entries were Faith Ramey (8th grade) of Pearland Junior High East in Pearland ISD, Skyler Bell (12th grade) of Columbia High School in Columbia-Brazoria ISD, and Esber Ramos, Jr. (8th grade) of Hopper Middle School in Cy-Fair ISD who were each awarded first prize, all receiving a $50 Visa gift card and $250 for their school’s science program.

The Super Cool Career Shades Challenge ran December 2015 – February 2016 in conjunction with JA Inspire, a series of career awareness events put on by Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. Chevron Phillips Chemical was the premiere sponsor of the event which spanned three months and involved more than 20,000 seventh and eighth grade students.

The Challenge invited students ages 13-18 in select counties of southeast Texas to post a photo, video or original artwork to Instagram with a brief response to the question “What do you see for your future career?” using the hashtag #supercoolcareershades and #sweepstakes. Winners were randomly selected from qualified entries.