"Introduce a Girl to Engineering" is a program done by ExxonMobil across its different sites in the country. This year marks the 11th consecutive year the program runs. More than 450 ExxonMobil employees will host over 2,500 middle-school students at 16 locations to increase interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields as part of the Girl Day initiative by DiscoverE, formerly known as the National Engineers Week Foundation.
According to Suzanne McCarron, president of the ExxonMobil Foundation, increasing young girls' interests in STEM careers is vital, and leaders like ExxonMobile should provide opportunities for interaction with successful STEM professionals.
"Through 'Introduce a Girl to Engineering' activities, ExxonMobil hopes to engage girls early in their education in order to dispel common misconceptions that prevent women from pursuing fulfilling careers in math and science," said McCarron.
The "Introduce a Girl to Engineering" program utilizes ExxonMobil employees leading fun, hands-on activities connecting math and science to real-life applications, while also reinforcing classroom instruction. Activities include demonstrations on the energy industry's use of 3D technology to search for oil and natural gas as well as water purification, bridge building and other science-related experiments.
ExxonMobil began hosting "Introduce a Girl to Engineering" events about a decade ago, and since then an estimate of 10,000 students have participated in the activities. The 2013 Economic and Statistics Administration Report says that women comprise half of the U.S. workforce, but hold fewer than 25 percent of STEM jobs and only 14 percent of engineering positions. Therefore, encouraging girls to join STEM careers ensures that the growing technological needs of the United States can be met.