ExxonMobil encourages the pursuit of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers through a variety of programs. One important avenue for this effort is STEM outreach at local schools. Recently, ExxonMobil’s local PRIDE chapter from Clinton, NJ visited Soehl Middle School. PRIDE is ExxonMobil’s LGBT employee resource group where members of the LGBT community and their straight allies encourage awareness and understanding of diversity and inclusion issues.
Armed with hands-on activities, four PRIDE member volunteers (Brian Moreno, Christine Elia, Sara Green, and Ana Kaplun – a Soehl Middle School alum) interacted with students from the Alliance Club and the National Junior Honor Society to build roller coasters with marbles. The marble roller coaster activity is a hands-on way to understand basic physics concepts, such as potential and kinetic energy and momentum. The students broke into teams to design and build a roller coaster using foam tubes and tape. Through building, testing, and then redesigning (if the marble could not successfully maneuver the course), the students also got a taste of the challenge of science and engineering.
(Due September 2017)