Children explore cutting-edge industry labs through San Jac, Kuraray partnership

Mar 4, 2024Melissa Trevizo
Kuraray Training

Fourth graders from the Japanese Language Supplementary School of Houston recently spent a Saturday at San Jacinto College’s LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology to learn more about industry and STEM. The event and day’s activities were sponsored by Kuraray America, Inc. 

“As a global leader in specialty chemicals and a member of the Houston community, Kuraray understands the importance of investing and giving our time to benefit students pursuing professions in STEM,” said Takaharu “Tim” Kawahara, Kuraray America Inc. president and CEO. “We believe that ‘together we can achieve more.’ Our partnership with San Jacinto College exemplifies our belief that nurturing talent and fostering innovation and mentorship is key not only to the development of our future workforce but also to bettering the local communities where our employees live and work.” 

The students spent time in four of CPET's state-of-the-art labs, including the glass distillation lab, the 8,000-square-foot glycol distillation unit, the Emerson performance learning platform lab, and the process equipment lab.  

The CPET facility houses degree programs in process technology, instrumentation, electrical, inspection technologies, and environmental health and safety. The building's 35 labs are used for degree programs, education outreach, and incumbent worker training based on the needs and desires of the industry.  

"At San Jac, we believe in the power of education to shape a better future," said Jeff Pearce, CPET education and workforce coordinator. “This partnership with Kuraray and the Japanese Language Supplementary School not only enhances the learning experience for these students but also strengthens the bonds between our College and the communities we serve.” 

The Kuraray team exhibited different science experiments using materials manufactured by its company. Kuraray is a world leader in performance-based polymer and specialty materials technologies, including resins, chemicals, fibers, and textiles. The company operates many subsidiaries worldwide, including Kuraray America Inc., headquartered in Houston. 

"Kuraray has partnered with San Jacinto College in various capacities for several years,” said Kawahara. “In addition to participating in key school events like career fairs, we also sponsored the Kuraray chemistry lab, which provides hands-on experience for local students. We see real impact through our collaboration with San Jacinto College as we work together to maintain our region's leadership in energy, particularly specialty chemicals. Our team looks forward to opportunities to continue our current collaboration and further educate and inspire the next generation." 

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