Esso Highlands Limited staff are headed into classrooms in Port Moresby as part of a new science education program that allows students from grades eight to twelve to learn about the science and petrochemical industry, by seeing up close various mineral and chemical samples, even fossils some millions of years old.
Called the ExxonMobil Science Ambassadors program, it aims to improve students’ understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as encourage them to consider a career in these areas. So far, 15 engagements have already taken place.
“We’re using three different science kits: a Rocks and Geology kit, one on the Origins of Oil and Gas, and another on Chemicals. On an ongoing basis, Esso Highland Limited staff members, known as Science Ambassadors, visit schools to teach lessons from the science kits,” said Shabaka Gibson, Corporate Citizenship and Community Investment Lead for the PNG LNG Project.
Mr Gibson said, for example, with the Origins of Oil and Gas kit, children get to see and handle some fossil samples and learn about how they relate to the formation of petroleum over millions of years.
Practical exercises get children talking about rock compositions, geology, and chemicals. The program is designed to help students get a better understanding of the industry and science in general.
“It’s very important to us that we complement schools’ and teachers’ efforts to make learning fun and lasting,” Mr Gibson said.
“We are very excited about bringing the Science Ambassador program to PNG. Education opens doors for people and broadens their horizons. It enables economic progress and prosperity for the nation, and steers communities towards achieving a better future,” Mr Gibson said.