HISD students see role models at work

Girls from Billy Reagan K-8 Education Center and Woodson Middle School got a first-hand look at potential careers when they attended ExxonMobil’s 10th annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day in downtown Houston. It was one of several activities hosted by local energy companies to help students understand the connection between future jobs and their current academics.

The students experienced a day of hands-on activities at ExxonMobil showcasing the fun and unique applications of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professions that help solve real-world problems.

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“We are looking to expose the girls to areas they have never been exposed before,” said ExxonMobil Regional Supply Manager Bridget Brett.

The day-in-the-life experience included multiple contests for middle-school girls to actively engage and connect the energy industry with everyday life. More than 30 ExxonMobil engineers dedicated their time and planned activities in hopes to inspire more women into the engineering and science industries.

BP held a similar day-in-the-life event for Reagan High students of the “2013 BP Innovation in STEM Teaching Award” recipient, Gira Scuesi. Scuesi teaches AP Computer Science and Pre-AP Geometry with Computers, and recently won the award for demonstrating excellence in innovative teaching and working to create excitement and interest in STEM among her students.

Fifty Reagan High School students were hosted at a campus tour of BP, where the students heard from company leadership, learned about STEM careers, experienced first-hand some of BP’s innovation and technology, spent time with young professionals, BP Challengers, and heard directly from U.S. University Relations about what they look for as they recruit on university campuses across the country.

Chevron Corporation also supported HISD’s commitment to STEM education by presenting the school district with a $50,000 check during the Feb. 13 Board of Education meeting. The money will fund an expansion of the New Digital Energy computer game, which sharpens math and science skills and promotes STEM careers.

HISD currently has seven magnet schools dedicated to education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. For more information on magnet programs, visit www.houstonisd.org/schoolchoice.