From the Panhandle to the Gulf Coast, in communities rural, suburban and urban, Texas oil and natural gas companies are steadfast partners in efforts to expand and improve STEM programs.
These efforts are critical because data shows that not enough students are pursuing STEM careers to meet the oil and natural gas industry’s workforce needs. The industry will need to hire nearly 1.9 million oil and natural gas workers between 2015 and 2035 so expanding STEM education opportunities will be critical to keep Texas competitive in an ever-changing world. Luckily for Texas students, jobs in the oil and natural gas industry are among the highest paying in the state!
Through high-quality, innovative, hands-on educational opportunities, the oil and natural gas industry is working to ensure even more students will have the opportunity to work in an industry that is growing our economy, securing our future, and making life better for people here in Texas, around the U.S. and across the world.
Check out these STEM learning resources championed by the oil and natural gas industry:
Visit the “Texas Oil and Gas” exhibit at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, where you’ll explore the past, present, and future of the industry in Texas and how it impacts the country and the world.
In 2020 TXOGA brought the Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit (MOLU) to 45 schools across Texas. The MOLU features 6 learning stations with curriculum-based, hands-on activities about oil and natural gas technologies and sciences.
The #STEMCareersCoalition can help you bring the STEM to life in the comfort of home with a variety of exciting digital learning explorations that help students put STEM skills into action with hands-on, ready-to-use activities.
It’s important to learn about the forms, types and ways energy works! The US Energy Information Administration provides all sorts of online games, riddles, and at-home activities that help students learn about energy.
Learn all about fossil fuels, what they are, and where they come from with this Fossil Fuels for Kids video from Learn Bright Videos.
This video and videogame provided by BrainPOP teaches how fossil fuels are used in the industry and how their use has evolved over the years.
The IPAA Energy Workforce Education Center Exploring Energy Program empowers educators and students by encouraging them to delve into the energy industry and its many career fields through a variety of video showcases, virtual tours, and virtual visits to the classroom by respected professionals. Launched in January 2021, there are over 120 videos available with more being added every month!
For STEM grads ready to take advantage of the employment opportunities available, Education Loan Finance offers tips for writing a resume that showcases your STEM skills, is personalized to your career experience and to the job that you’re looking for, and helps you stand out from the crowd.
The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum’s STEM Education Center provides expanded opportunities for education programs and activities. With a larger education classroom, workspace for education staff, a “science” kitchen, and an outdoor interactive learning space, the Museum’s is able to offer more programs, create new events, and enhance learning for visitors of all ages.
And the industry isn’t just made up of the engineers and scientists. Job opportunities vary widely and require diverse backgrounds, including attorneys, architects, accountants, truck drivers, carpenters, welders, human relations, business and public relations. As the Texas oil and natural gas industry grows to meet the energy demands of our state and nation, so does the need for future generations of Texans to fill the various roles required to see this growth continue.
STEM in Texas
In 2015, Midland ISD, Midland College and West Texas oil and natural gas operators such as Pioneer Natural Resources joined together to launch the Petroleum Academy, a program that allows local high schoolers interested in a career in oil and natural gas to receive hands-on, real-world experience in the industry by learning directly from energy employees in their classrooms. The program also includes field trips to training facilities and site tours and internships for seniors looking to join the workforce straight out of high school.
The Texas A&M-Chevron Engineering Academies, available at four two-year colleges in Texas, allow students to remain close to home for the first two years of their studies while putting them on a path toward a four-year engineering degree from Texas A&M University. The program, which was seeded by a $5 million gift from Chevron, has been lauded not only for its potential impact on underserved communities and the number of STEM degrees awarded in our state, but also for the affordability it offers many first-generation college students. The program has also expanded to include several more two-year colleges and brought on additional industry partners such as Concho Resources.
The Texas City ISD Industrial Trades Center is the result of a forward-looking collaborative effort to prepare local high school students in Galveston County with the education needed to learn skilled trades and pursue careers with local companies. The program has a strong partner in the area’s oil and natural gas operators including Marathon Petroleum and Valero. Both companies were prominent in driving the development and funding of the Center, creating curriculum that prepares students for the industry’s needs, and donating equipment and supplies. Marathon Petroleum also established a STEM LAB at Texas City High School.
The CITGO Innovation Academy for Engineering, Environmental & Marine Science at Moody High School in Corpus Christi creates a rigorous four-year college preparatory program that includes upper-level engineering, mathematics and science courses, with the goal of graduating students who are college or career ready.
Exxon has been a consistent advocate of STEM education. Worldwide, the company has contributed $1.25 billion to education programs since 2000. Here in Texas, Exxon champions numerous programs that aim to inspire and prepare students for a career in the energy industry, including STEM camps, professional development camps for STEM teachers and “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” events featuring company employees demonstrating their experiences within the energy industry.
The Energy Institute in Houston was the first high school in the U.S. created for the sole purpose of preparing students for careers in the energy sector and is backed by strong partnerships from multiple Texas oil and natural gas companies including BP, Phillips 66, Noble Energy and Schlumberger. These partners host field trips, provide guest speakers, and fund student activities.
Shell has been a long-time sponsor of the National Science Teachers Association, and, for the past 23 years, has sponsored the Shell Science Teaching Award, which recognizes outstanding science teachers and provides makeovers for science laboratories.
The Oilfield Energy Center in Houston offers schools across Texas the opportunity to experience their Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit – otherwise known as a MOLU. This traveling exhibit features curriculum-based, hands-on activities about energy and technologies and sciences involved with the oil and natural gas industry.