Other math and science programs ExxonMobil supports the efforts of local educators in 42 states who, along with community and business leaders, have come together to develop voluntary, rigorous Common Core State Standards in math and English. Common Core State Standards ExxonMobil supports the efforts of K-12 educators in 42 states and the District of Columbia as they implement the Common Core State Standards in math and English. On a local level, teachers and administrators – along with supportive community and business leaders – are working to ensure today’s students develop the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college and careers. For the U.S. to remain competitive globally, we must ensure that all children, no matter where they live, receive the best education possible that prepares them for a future beyond high school. The Common Core State Standards, which states voluntarily adopted in 2010 and 2011, provide a clear and consistent expectation of what students should learn at each grade level. With the right preparation, our students can successfully innovate and lead, especially in the rapidly growing fields of science, technology, engineering and math. With lessons aligned to the Common Core State Standards, teachers are helping students master key concepts and strengthen critical thinking skills. In mathematics: The standards lay a solid foundation in whole numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and decimals. Taken together, these elements support a student’s ability to learn and apply more demanding mathematics concepts and procedures. The middle school and high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real world issues and challenges. They prepare students to think and reason mathematically. Evidence shows that the complexity of texts students must read in school today does not match the demands of college and the workplace – creating a gap between what high school students can do and what they need to be able to do. In English Language Arts (ELA): The standards put a greater emphasis on writing arguments. And because college and career readiness focuses on complex texts beyond traditional literature, the standards also ensure students are enhancing their reading, writing and researching in other subjects too. The standards create a staircase of increasing text complexity so that students develop their skills and apply them to increasingly complex texts. Introduce a Girl to Engineering ExxonMobil annually hosts “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” events at company sites across the country with activities designed to encourage careers in engineering. The program seeks to promote curiosity among middle school students, and particularly help shrink the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. For more than a decade, hundreds of company employees have helped demonstrate to more than 11,000 students that engineering careers are not only exciting, rewarding and diverse, but also offer the power to make a difference in society. Junior Achievement ExxonMobil provides grants to local, regional, national and international Junior Achievement organizations that educate and inspire young people to understand business and economics, while also preparing them to enter the workforce. In addition, trained ExxonMobil employee volunteers lead specific lesson plans at schools of their choice. Junior Achievement has added a science and math component to the Junior Achievement curriculum. National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) NACME, founded more than 30 years ago, and supported by corporations, has the goal of leading the effort to increase the representation of minority men and women in engineering and related careers. Block grants for scholarships are awarded to universities that have a track record and a focus to increase the number of minority engineering graduates. In addition, NACME is helping establish engineering academics in more than 100 inner city high schools. National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) ExxonMobil has provided NSTA with a $2 million grant in support of their National Learning Center. Through this initiative, ExxonMobil and NSTA will provide a new online professional development program to upper elementary and middle school teachers in selected school districts. Outreach programs ExxonMobil provides funds to selected organizations and universities that seek to improve the career opportunities of women and minorities, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For example, ExxonMobil contributes to Society of Women Engineers programs that strive to attract women to engineering and technical professions. Other organizations funded by ExxonMobil include the National Society of Black Engineers, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards and the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers. Science Ambassador Program ExxonMobil employees participate in an in-class volunteer program focused on education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics targeted at middle school students. SECME, Inc. SECME is a strategic alliance that partners schools, universities, industry and government to renew and strengthen the professional capacity of K-12 educators; motivate and mentor students; and, empower parents and communities to prepare minority youth for careers in the math, science, engineering and technology fields. ExxonMobil’s support of SECME directly aids several initiatives including the Summer Institute for Teachers. Society of Women Engineers (SWE) ExxonMobil’s contribution to SWE is used to support outreach programs to attract young women to the fields of engineering. As a longstanding partner of SWE, ExxonMobil supports Invent It. Build It., a hands-on engineering program for middle school girls, specifically Girl Scouts. Held annually during SWE’s national conference, the program introduces girls to the benefits of STEM careers through interactive challenges coordinated by PBS’ Design Squad Nation, engaging presentations from industry leaders and a parallel initiative for parents and educators.