WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A longtime Wichita Falls business is continuing its tradition of helping students in their pursuit of scientific and technical knowledge.

Howmet Aerospace has been benefiting local science, technology, engineering and math programs, or STEM, for two decades.

A group of WFISD fifth graders were the recipients at River Bend Nature Center on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, when Howard McDaris from Howmet presented a $20,000 check for the nonprofit.

Without such help, River Bend officials said, many local kids would have no chance to participate in learning activities, including live animal education, trail activities and other science programs.

“It means so much,” education coordinator Ericka Mitchell said. “We are able to reach so many more kids that wouldn’t have been able to come out here. A lot of them have not been outside a lot, so going out on the trail is their first time to be in a wooded area. And, a lot of the concepts we teach them go along with their schooling, so they have a first glance or a reference point for later in the year.”

Over the last decade, Howmet has contributed more than $230,000 so that 20,000 students could participate in River Bend educational programs at no cost.