ExxonMobil Advocates Engineering Careers to Middle School Girls

Fifty middle school girls were innovators for a day as they learned about the exciting aspects of engineering careers during the ninth annual "Introduce a Girl to Engineering" program at ExxonMobil headquarters on February 21, supported by ExxonMobil employees and the ExxonMobil Foundation.

Girls from Dallas, Irving and Plano Independent School Districts took part in hands-on activities designed to showcase the fun and unique applications of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that help solve everyday problems. Through first-hand accounts, ExxonMobil employees demonstrated creative and collaborative aspects of engineering, and how engineers are responsible for many of the world's most important innovations.

Employees also served as on-site mentors, leading experiments such as Marshmallow Mania, where girls built a catapult and launched marshmallows using the laws of physics, and A View from the Top, where team members designed and built a sturdy structure with playing cards.

"ExxonMobil is working to build the next generation of innovators by introducing students to the marvels of engineering when they are making critical course decisions," said Tracey Gunnlaugsson, senior downstream advisor, corporate strategic planning, Exxon Mobil Corporation. "We want to demonstrate to girls that engineering careers are not only exciting, rewarding and diverse, but they also offer the power to make a difference in society. Whether creating advanced technologies or developing new medicines, engineers are changing the world every day."

Although women comprise about half of the U.S. workforce, they hold only 14 percent of engineering jobs, according to the Economics and Statistics Administration.

The ExxonMobil Foundation "Introduce a Girl to Engineering" program seeks to promote the distinct advantages of the profession as well as the need for women to pursue careers in the field. The ExxonMobil headquarters event is one of 13 "Introduce a Girl to Engineering" programs hosted at ExxonMobil facilities nationwide.