Europe is facing a growing skills gap in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). To bridge this gap, ExxonMobil and Junior Achievement (JA) Europe have developed a math and science program called the Sci-Tech Challenge. This program encourages students and teachers to take an active interest in math and science and aims to inspire students to consider career paths in the energy industry. The Sci-Tech Challenge includes four elements: the Sci-Tech Website and Quiz; the Sci-Tech Classroom Visit, led by ExxonMobil volunteers; the Sci-Tech National Challenge; and the European Sci-Tech Challenge.
The pilot program occurred in Norway in 2009, and it has since grown to include ten European countries, with approximately 10,000 students between the ages of 15 and 18 participating every year. Since 2009, more than 1,500 ExxonMobil volunteers have worked with approximately 55,000 Sci-Tech Challenge students to provide them with hands-on experience solving real-world business and energy-related challenges through the application of STEM skills. Following their experience in the program, 45 percent of participants consider STEM-orientated education and careers.
With the fast pace of change and innovation today, the opportunities for young people who have the magic combination of entrepreneurship competences and STEM skills are countless. We know working with companies like ExxonMobil ensures young people can interact with role models in STEM careers, which is a key motivator for young people as they make important education and career choices.
Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe