More than 950 students experienced the wonders of science through ExxonMobil PNG's Science Ambassadors program in 2015.
The Science Ambassadors program is an initiative of ExxonMobil PNG Limited (EMPNG), operator of the PNG LNG Project, and is aimed at promoting the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to students as well as encouraging them to consider a career in these fields.
Each year ExxonMobil PNG staff members volunteer to be science ambassadors and undergo training to be qualified to visit and teach lessons covering geology and the origins of oil and gas using specially prepared science kits.
Students receive a fun hands-on experience being able to touch minerals and rock samples including fossils, some millions of years old, and learn how they form into petroleum products over millions of years.
The Science Ambassador Program was originally developed by ExxonMobil 1990 in Houston, Texas. In 2013 it was launched in primary schools around Port Moresby.
Since then, the program has been expanded to primary schools near the PNG LNG Plant in Central Province and in Hides, Hela Province.
ExxonMobil PNG Science Ambassadors visited 17 primary and high schools including Para, Manada, Komo, Kukupalu, Tiunte, Tugupawi, Juni and Idauwi Primary schools in Hela Province. In Central Province, visits to primary schools included Porebada, Boera, Papa, Lealea, Baruni, Gordons International and Ela Murray International schools.
The team also visited high schools, Redscar and Port Moresby International (POMIS) schools.
EMPNG LNG Plant Stakeholder Engagement Lead, Patricia Gau, complimented the schools and teachers efforts in embracing the program to make learning more fun and educational. EMPNG Managing Director, Andrew Barry said as a science and technology company ExxonMobil PNG understands the importance science, technology, engineering and math play in providing students with a wide range of career options later in life.
"Through this program we hope to inspire a passion for science and encourage students to consider career paths that may one day result in them helping to manage Papua New Guinea’s vast natural resources and perhaps even aspire to become part of the ExxonMobil team in PNG," said Barry.
POMIS Science Teacher, Rudolph Powih said not only were the students interested and captivated with what the Ambassadors offered but the teaching staff had all praise for the program and experience.
"We thank EMPNG and the Science Ambassadors for making the time and we look forward to future visits," said Powih.
The Science Ambassadors Program is only one many education initiatives that ExxonMobil PNG has assisted with.
Support for education is a key focus area for ExxonMobil PNG and since 2010 has invested in over K13 million in PNG towards infrastructure development, teacher capacity building and governance activities.