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MCFARLAND, Wis. -- As part of an 11-year tradition, more than 160 six-grade students from Indian Mound Middle School here recently visited the CITGO Madison Terminal and learned the steps oil companies take to turn crude oil into gasoline for vehicles.
"The adopt-a-class program with Indian Mound Middle School is something that our employees look forward to each year," Mark Gehris, manager of the Madison CITGO Terminal, said in a statement. "This is our 11th year working with the students, and both the program and interaction get better each year. The feedback we get shows that they are beginning to understand the many steps involved in oil production as well as the role the Madison Terminal plays in the McFarland community."
Students learned the process of creating fuel in the classroom and took tours of the CITGO operations. The classroom presentation focused on the "well-to-wheels" process of oil exploration, refining and distribution, while the terminal tour focused on equipment, processes and protection of the environment, the company stated.
"One of the most important things we try to convey to the students is how CITGO and other oil companies are dedicated to protecting our environment," Gehris said. "By showing them such things as the advanced vapor traps and contamination prevention systems around the terminal, we hope the students will understand the importance of protecting our environment as we provide fuel for the surrounding communities."
The McFarland community has long ties with the petroleum industry, when the first pipelines were constructed in the 1950s, according to the company. Employees at the CITGO Madison Terminal are involved with the community, including the McFarland School District, in alignment with the social development principles of its shareholder, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.
CITGO Madison Terminal employees also participate in the Senior Exit Interview process, which provides guidance and career advice to graduating McFarland High School seniors, as well as an annual Dr. Seuss Reading Day with third-grade students at Waubesa Intermediate School in McFarland.
"The CITGO Terminal’s engagement with Indian Mound Middle School has given our students an incredible advantage in the practical understanding of their classroom studies," said Julie Merow, sixth-grade teacher at Indian Mound Middle School. "The scientific, environmental and historical importance of the CITGO Madison Terminal provides real-world examples to support the classroom projects our students undertake. We are extremely grateful to CITGO for its support and for being so open in sharing its expertise and facility with our students."
CITGO owns and operates three terminals in Wisconsin, and together, they distribute approximately 1.3 million gallons of fuel daily to more than 470 locally owned and operated CITGO stations in the state.
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