Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are skills at the heart of innovation. And few challenges require innovation as much as the dual challenge of providing the energy people need to improve their quality of life, whilst managing the risks of climate change.
At ExxonMobil, we’re passionate about innovation. Scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians are the life blood of everything we do. We want to encourage and support the bright young minds of the next generation to study STEM subjects and discover the joy of innovation too.
Sometimes that support means giving students a helping hand by making contributions to educational and training programs. Sometimes it means volunteers from ExxonMobil giving their time to help coach students and arrange competitions, to give them a forum to show the world their ideas.
These are some of the STEM education programs we support in Europe:
EUROPE-WIDE: The Sci-Tech Challenge
Jointly organized by JA Europe and ExxonMobil, the Sci-Tech Challenge encourages students aged 15-18 to flex their STEM skills and consider STEM-focused careers. The idea is to challenge students to find a solution to a real-world problem for society. In 2019, that challenge was how to solve big city traffic challenges.
GERMANY: The #BeAnEngineer Campaign
To get more students excited about a career in engineering, ExxonMobil Germany takes part in the global #BeAnEngineer campaign – which seeks to encourage and prepare students to pursue this important and fulfilling career path. Part of the campaign is the “Formel 1 in der Schule” (Formula 1 at school) program. A multi-disciplinary, international technology competition – it gives students aged 11-19 the chance to develop a miniature Formula 1 car on their computer and then test it in a race.
UK: The #SolveItWithSTEM Challenge
2020 sees ExxonMobil’s Fawley refinery launching the “SolveItWithSTEM Challenge” – which will invite pupils from secondary schools across the region to take part in a day of fun competition. It’s a new initiative, but the Fawley site has a well-established tradition of promoting STEM in its local community.
“We have a number of STEM ambassadors who go into local schools and colleges to take part in various events,” said Angharad Vaughan, Community Affairs Adviser and STEM Program Lead at Fawley. “We already have 10 local link schools that we support with a grant every year to fund STEM-related activities.”
THE NETHERLANDS: Girlsday at ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam refinery
Every April, technical businesses and NGOs across the Netherlands open their doors to girls aged 10-15, to inspire them about the possibilities of studying STEM subjects. One of those businesses is ExxonMobil’s Rotterdam refinery, which offers a tour to girls to show them what it’s like to work at the refinery and the opportunities available to them.
FRANCE: Olympiades des Sciences de l’Ingénieur
ExxonMobil France takes part in the organization of the “Olympiades des Sciences de l’Ingénieur”, which helps secondary students develop their engineering skills, along with their initiative and enthusiasm for science. The goal of the competition is to assess and award experimental projects in engineering sciences that the students carry out over a period of several months. Taking part helps them gain technical expertise and also gives them a chance to hone their public speaking skills when they present their project to the judges.
Members of the jury inspect an entry at the Olympiades des Sciences de l’Ingénieur
Of course, we don’t only hope to inspire the minds of students when they’re at school! Our European Science & Engineering Program (ESEP) promotes scientific interactions between ExxonMobil, European universities and research institutions. ESEP functions as a foundation – financing European university projects and research in areas of science and engineering relevant to ExxonMobil Chemical.
Through these programs and many more around the world, ExxonMobil hopes that students will continue to discover their passion for STEM subjects – and the innovations they bring!
Header image supplied by JA Europe. Photographer: Dani Oshi