For Wareham students this year, the Hess truck’s here.

The gasoline company recently donated 24 of its famous Hess trucks to the STEAM classrooms at the new Wareham Elementary School, which just opened at the beginning of 2022.

Holly Colombo and Elizabeth Hayes run the STEAM classroom, teaching all students grades K-4 about science, technology, engineering, art and math.

“It’s science-based projects and learning, incorporating engineering designs and processes, hands-on building activities, incorporating math into it as well,” Colombo said. “This is a new program for Wareham, so we’re kind of building up the curriculum now.”

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Since the program is new, Colombo and Hayes are still searching for innovative ways to come up with materials and lessons to teach the students. As part of that, the two are constantly searching for grants and programs that can help with building up the curriculum. In November, they received an email that Hess was giving away 1,000 STEM kits to teachers, which included Hess trucks and a lesson plan for utilizing them in the classroom.

“We applied in November and didn’t hear anything back, and then at the beginning of February, (Hayes) got the email and said, ‘Oh my gosh, we just won the Hess kits,’” Colombo said. “Two weeks later, they shipped it out. They were giving each winner 12 kits but I think they knew we were both in it together, because they sent us 24, which was awesome.”

Courtesy Holly Colombo
Courtesy Holly Colombo

The curriculum provided by Hess actually spans grades K-12, and Colombo said they’re willing to share the kits with the middle and high school students in town as well, but for now, they’re excited to present the kits to the elementary students when school resumes after vacation next week. The kits they received actually contain a Hess cargo plane and jet plane.

“We’re going to introduce the Hess package to all of our students with a lesson where we teach students about airplanes, how airplanes fly, and we’ll be doing a paper airplane challenge to kick it off. They’re going to love it,” Colombo said. “I’m sure it’ll be a little chaotic, but it’ll be totally worth it and totally fun.”

It’s also inspiring Colombo and Hayes to keep thinking outside the box to build up their program.

“I really can’t believe we actually got the kits. I feel like I always apply for free things to help better my students but I never hear back,” she said. “We feel lucky that we got this opportunity, especially since we’re starting off with nothing, and while we’re grateful, we also hope it opens the door for us looking into other programs so we can get more grants and things for our students.”

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