Promoting STEM a winner

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Collaboration isn’t just needed to drive shareholder value, accelerate projects and improve safety. It also means Woodsiders working together and with external agencies and organisations, both in Australia and increasingly overseas, to ensure our social licence to operate is fully supported.

Our commitment to furthering science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects among students is a good example of Woodsiders joining with our social investment partners to promote learning in critical areas – for our business and wider society. “We understand that society is changing quickly, and that the next generation will need to adapt to different economic and working conditions than those that exist today,” says Cher Gibellini, corporate affairs adviser in communities. “But the need for STEM skills will remain a constant and in fact, studies show that three- quarters of the occupations that are growing the fastest will require skills in STEM subjects.”

Cher points out that Woodside employs a multi-faceted approach in encouraging students of all ages to take interest in STEM subjects. “So many areas of our business are involved, which means so many Woodsiders get the chance to get involved, including through our corporate volunteering program,” she notes.

“For example, our graduates help run the Scitech Gifted and Talented Program and employees present Woodside Scitech Science Awards throughout the state. Our employees are also integral to the success of the Woodside CoderDojos in Perth and Karratha, which are teaching kids how to code.” Fogarty Foundation partners Woodside in CoderDojos, at which our graduates help out.

One student whose interest in STEM subjects was stimulated by those CoderDojos is Piper Gregory, the 16-year-old daughter of senior vice president and chief technology officer Shaun Gregory. “CoderDojo for me was an amazing experience,” Piper says. “The mentors were truly inspiring – they even inspired me to take up computer sciences next year which has a whole coding course. So thank you, guys.”

Woodside social investment manager Jo Ferrie says: “Our multi-faceted approach supports long-term strategic gains while retaining the ability to respond to new and emergent forms of STEM education, ensuring our program remains contemporary and relevant.” Through the Woodside Australia Science Project, Woodside has collaborated with Earth Science Western Australia (ESWA) to provide free resources, materials and teacher training and school visits to promote earth and environmental sciences.

One relatively new initiative, which is leveraged off our partnership with ESWA, is our STEM in Schools initiative. Led by Women of Woodside, staff members have been visiting primary and secondary schools to promote STEM subjects and STEM-related career paths.

In just six months, more than 200 staff have been trained by ESWA to deliver sessions to more than 3000 students. Woodside has a history of collaboration with schools, universities, government and other organisations to support, educate and empower the community and students in STEM.

Besides the initiatives mentioned in this story, Woodside also supports:

WA Museum Our partnership with the Museum dates back to 1998 and focuses on marine biodiversity research and online education. With more than 20 years’ key research conducted off Australia’s northern coastline, the program has resulted in the discovery of more than 600 new plant and marine species and the production of the award- winning interactive website, Beneath the Waves. Discover more at museum.wa.gov.au/btw.

Scitech Since 1995, Woodside has been collaborating with Scitech to support the delivery of key STEM and student education and outreach initiatives. Programs include Science After Schools, the Scitech Gifted and Talented Program and the Woodside Scitech Science Awards.

WA Department of Fisheries The WA Department of Fisheries’ Marine WATERs (WA Teachers’ Education Resources) program aims to improve knowledge around the State’s marine eco-systems. Our contribution includes national curriculum-linked resources for primary and secondary schools, inclusive of teacher professional development.

 

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Trunkline Q3 2017