HOUSTON, OCTOBER 20, 2014 — Former NASA Astronaut Wendy Lawrence will join ExxonMobil engineers and other scientists to help ignite the interest of hundreds of Houston-area female students in pursuing careers in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields at the Sally Ride Science Festival at Rice University on Saturday, October 25, 2014 starting at 11 a.m. More than 1,000 girls, families and teachers are expected at this year’s festival, which was founded by the late Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, and is being presented by ExxonMobil and Rice University.
Although women make up half the nation’s workforce, reports show they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs.* The Sally Ride Science Festival presented by ExxonMobil will feature a variety of STEM-oriented activities to help introduce female students in grades five through eight and their parents to some of the nation’s fastest-growing and highest-paying careers.
At the sold-out event, Lawrence will serve as keynote at 1 p.m. and share her experience and opportunities for girls in STEM-related fields. There will also be a street fair complete with food, interactive booths, music and a full day of fun learning activities for the students, as well as workshops for parents and teachers on different ways to teach science and math and to support students’ interests in the subjects.
“This festival presents a wonderful chance for students in Houston’s middle schools—especially girls—to see the wide array of STEM fields and careers open to them,” said Sally Ride Science CEO and Cofounder Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy. “STEM careers are often found in the fastest growing segments of our economy and can provide some of the best economic opportunities for students. The hands-on activities and role models that students will encounter at the festival are intended to help demonstrate many exciting and rewarding jobs that many students don’t know about.”
Each student at the festival will receive a Sally Ride Science STEM careers book. In these books, students meet diverse women and men working in STEM fields today—people who design roller coasters, invent new technologies for geological discoveries, dive in submersibles to study the seafloor, and develop new medicines from rare plants.
In addition to the support of primary sponsors ExxonMobil and Rice University, the Sally Ride Science Festival at Rice University is made possible through a generous contribution from Deloitte, which has long supported the event. Additional sponsors of this year’s festival include Baker Hughes, Enbridge, CenterPoint Energy, BASF, Cheniere Energy, Strike, Noble Energy, and CB&I.
For more information, visit http://www.sallyridesciencericefestival.com, or call 1-800-561-5161.
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. ExxonMobil engages in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where the company has significant operations. In 2013, together with its employees and retirees, ExxonMobil, its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $269 million in contributions worldwide. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contribution programs is available at www.exxonmobil.com/community.
About Sally Ride Science
Sally Ride Science was co-founded in 2001 by Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, to help educators in grades 3-8 spark and sustain student interest in STEM topics and careers. The company’s pioneering professional development and engaging classroom tools build connections between students’ academic work and the exciting STEM fields that offer so many opportunities in the 21st Century economy. The goal is to increase the numbers of students who stick with their interest in STEM topics and careers throughout their school years so that they can retain the option for study and meaningful work in STEM fields. For more information, visit www.sallyridescience.com.
*2011 Economic and Statistics Administration Report