JA-YE Europe Launch Project with ExxonMobil to Support Skills Development in the Field of Maths-Science-TechnologyBrussels, Belgium, 15 April 2010
Brussels, Belgium 15 April 2010: Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise (JA-YE) Europe today announced the start of a three-year ‘Sci-Tech Challenge’ initiative supported by a €500,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The programme aims to motivate students aged 15 -18 to consider math, science and technology oriented careers, raise their awareness of the importance of math, science and technology skills and how they can be applied in enterprising ways to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.
In the first year the grant will target three countries: Germany, Norway and The Netherlands. Students will have access to interactive educational web resources, have their knowledge tested with a Sci-Tech Challenge Quiz and have the opportunity to participate in local Sci-Tech Challenge events with the best teams progressing to the annual European Sci-Tech Challenge event. Throughout these activities, students will have access to role models in the form of expert math, science and technology volunteers from ExxonMobil who will be on hand for classroom visits and mentoring at the Challenge events.
A pilot Sci-Tech Challenge event was organized in Stavanger, Norway in early March 2010 and attended by 25 students. They were set the task of coming up with a solution that would improve energy efficiency in the cities of tomorrow. Working in mixed age and nationality teams, the groups soon came up with a series of imaginative ideas. The ExxonMobil volunteers then helped the groups use their math, science and technology skills to turn their ideas into workable solutions.
Student Amelie Solberg explains what she thought of the programme: “This opportunity has been great for me because it helped me gain a better understanding of science professions. It gave me information to think about my future education which will be in the field of physics or chemistry.”
In year two and three, the programme will expand to include nine countries and by the end of year three, 10,000 students will have participated with the support of 360 teachers and business volunteers.
“There is a need for programmes that stimulate students to think differently about the future,” said Caroline Jenner, JA-YE Europe CEO. “Young people often don’t realize the range of career opportunities available to them. Combining entrepreneurial skills with math, science and technology opens so many doors. Through the Sci-Tech Challenge they meet interesting professionals and experience first hand how they themselves can solve problems and develop their ideas in a real world context.”
Speaking at the launch event in Brussels, Robert Lanyon, Manager of Corporate Citizenship & Community Investments ExxonMobil, remarked: “Through our investment in this programme, ExxonMobil is helping students understand the importance of math, science and technology skills in addressing society’s challenges today and tomorrow. It is critical that we encourage their enthusiasm for science, engineering and technology careers, to ensure that we create a talented pool of professionals for the future.”
Notes to Editors
JA-YE Europe (www.ja-ye.org) is Europe’s largest provider of entrepreneurship education programmes, reaching 3.1 million students in 38 countries in 2009. Funded by businesses, institutions, foundations and individuals, JA-YE brings the public and private sectors together to provide young people in primary and secondary schools and early university with high-quality education programmes to teach them about enterprise, entrepreneurship, business and economics in a practical way. The JA-YE Company Programme is recognised by the European Commission Enterprise Directorate General as a ‘Best Practice in Entrepreneurship Education’. JA-YE Europe is the European headquarters for JA Worldwide.
ExxonMobil (www.exxonmobil.com) is the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, providing energy that helps underpin growing economies and improve living standards around the world. ExxonMobil operates facilities and markets products around the world, and explores for oil and natural gas on six continents. Upstream, Downstream, Chemicals and Technology are the basic operational pillars that ExxonMobil is focused on.