According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the number of jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries, including oil and natural gas, is expected to grow 50% faster over the next decade than in non-STEM industries. Moreover, 50% of America’s petroleum workforce will retire over the next 10 years. Filling these jobs is both an economic imperative and an extraordinary opportunity for students, but our industry must first empower students with knowledge of the STEM career paths within their reach. To meet this need, PESA is devoted to multi-level programs that reach children in high school, middle school and elementary school, where STEM education is critical.
National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE), Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program is an integral piece of PESA’s support of energy education. The SEEK program is a free three-week engineering immersion program exposing 3rd-5th grade students in under-represented communities to STEM education.
STUDENT HIGHLIGHT: BELLA AMORE
Bella Amore and her family have faced tremendous adversity, living in poverty. Her mother, Amber, struggles every day to support her and her brother Kyree on an annual salary of $19,000. This tight-knit family is stretched thin, but Amber strives to ensure her children receive the best education possible.
Amber was thrilled when Bella was accepted into the NSBE Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program this summer. And although neither she nor Bella knew much about STEM, they were both excited by the opportunity. Bella came to NSBE’s SEEK program very shy and soft-spoken. Amber says Bella never really talks much, as she’s self-conscious of a speech impairment for which she’s been actively participating in therapy. Yet, against all odds, Bella persevered. Within a week of participating in the NSBE SEEK program, she was demonstrating more self-confidence than ever and a heightened interest in math and science.
SEEK’s Competition Fridays became a highlight for Bella, as she and her teammates enthusiastically presented their engineering design prototypes to SEEK judges and successfully competed against their peers to earn second place.
PESA’s support enables NSBE to identify, inspire and equip the next generation of minority and female engineers. Furthermore, PESA’s support of the NSBE SEEK program helps to provide more than 2,000 students like Bella with an unforgettable, high-quality STEM learning experience each summer.