Petrochemical giant ExxonMobil has awarded a grant of $300,000 (€213,000) to SECME, an Atlanta-based non-profit alliance of universities, schools, industrial and governmental organisations in the US. The money will help to promote education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for young minority students.
"ExxonMobil believes it is critical to America's future competitiveness to encourage US students, in particular young women and under-represented minority groups, to pursue careers in science, technology, education and math," says Truman Bell, senior programme officer for education and diversity at ExxonMobil.
In the past decade, ExxonMobil has pledged more than $2.5m to SECME to support its educational programmes.
SECME's key strategy is to provide teacher training that helps to enhance student interest with the support of 37 member university engineering schools. These include universities such as Georgia Tech, Tuskegee University, Howard University and the University of Houston in the US.
In surveys of graduating high school seniors who had participated in SECME, more than 90% said they planned to join a college and 50% said they will major in STEM related fields.
The SECME scheme really does sounds like a great solution for increasing the already flagging STEM numbers for the years ahead.
But what do you think? Is this scheme as good as it sounds? Do you know of any other similar schemes around the globe? Let us know...