Improving educational programs worldwide to enhance math and science skills is a priority for ExxonMobil. In 2015, worldwide contributions in support of pre-college education totaled more than $32.5 million, with $22.4 million benefiting education in the United States.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are the fundamental building blocks of individual opportunity and economic growth, and they are critical to ensuring today’s students are prepared for the jobs of the 21st century. Our education initiative is focused on four key areas: training highly qualified teachers in math and science; encouraging students from all backgrounds to pursue math and science; graduating more students from high school ready for success in college and careers; and advocating for higher standards and rigorous assessments. In 2015, we invested $19 million in STEM-related programs in the United States.
In 2007, ExxonMobil joined with other companies and foundations to initiate a national public-private partnership to meet the STEM challenge in the United States: the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). NMSI’s College Readiness Program (CRP) provides training for teachers to help students master Advanced Placement courses in math, science and English. This year, we made another multi-year commitment to expand the CRP in key geographies, including Louisiana, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. Another key NMSI program, UTeach, encourages undergraduate math and science majors to enter the teaching profession by offering an integrated-degree plan, financial assistance and early teaching experience.
In partnership with professional golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, we also support teachers through the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academies. Over the past 12 years, more than 5,000 elementary school teachers have been trained at the Academy in innovative teaching methods and “hands-on” applications of math and science, impacting the lives of more than 300,000 students nationwide.
Since 2006, we have partnered with former astronaut Bernard Harris to increase diversity in STEM professions. Through the Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp, we have helped more than 12,000 middle-school students from under-represented and under-served populations attend these all-expense-paid residential camps to improve student knowledge of STEM subjects, encourage youth to stay in school, and foster leadership and citizenship.
We were also a founding sponsor of a new initiative created by the Entertainment Industry Foundation called “Think It Up.” Its goals are to shape the national narrative towards a positive, college-oriented education culture and raise funds for classroom-based projects. As part of our $5 million grant, we provide matching grants for classroom science projects.
Outside the United States, we award scholarships in developing nations and establish local partnerships with organizations that have close ties with a country’s educational system.
For example, in the Middle East, ExxonMobil works with the National Center for Educator Development at Qatar University and the Supreme Education Council to offer a program to help enhance teaching skills and motivate students to pursue careers in math and science. Now in its fourth year, the Qatar University ExxonMobil Teachers Academy is a week-long training program aimed at enhancing teachers’ understanding of math and science content, facilitating student learning through problem-solving and inquiry, and equipping teachers with interactive learning tools to support differentiated instruction.