We have a track record of investing in education from kindergarten through college to strengthen the communities where we operate and build the future workforce.
We support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum enhancements, literacy, teacher training and development, programs aimed at meeting community social needs that impact educational outcomes, and college scholarships.
Our goals are to stimulate interest in STEM fields and increase the number of students who finish high school and continue their education at a two- or four-year college. We hope pursuing STEM fields leads some of these students to work for Marathon Oil and be industry leaders in the future.
We developed an Integrated Education Funding Model to ensure our investments drive meaningful change in academic performance, graduation rates and interest in STEM fields. The model helps us identify promising programs and measure effectiveness. In addition, it guides stakeholder engagement to address outside factors that can impact the outcomes of educational programs, such as parental support and underlying social issues.
The model establishes roles and responsibilities in helping children succeed in school. Marathon Oil’s role is to provide financial assistance and volunteers for mentoring, tutoring, reading programs and campus relations. Other stakeholders include community organizations, parents, teachers and school districts, four-year colleges and vocational/technical programs.
We have made significant investments in STEM education, particularly in the South Texas counties where we have operated since entering the Eagle Ford in 2011. The dynamic environment in this region has been a proving ground for STEM programs.
We piloted the Reasoning Mind Program for math education in one elementary school in the Karnes County Independent School District (KCISD) in 2013. Based on the results, in 2014 we expanded the program to a second KCISD school and added a grade level at the pilot school. In the 2014-2015 school year, approximately 420 children in grades 2-5 participated in the program and approximately 150 took algebra readiness assessments at the beginning and end of the school year, with dramatic results. The passing rate on the assessment increased 28-29 percentage points on average at both schools, and fifth graders at one school more than doubled their success rate on the assessment.
In addition, teachers indicated in a survey that they were highly satisfied with Reasoning Mind and felt the program helped them be more effective in the classroom. Given these improvements, Marathon Oil expanded Reasoning Mind to approximately 480 pupils in grades 2-5 at the same schools for the 2015-2016 academic year.
In 2015, Marathon Oil also contributed to the KCISD Education Foundation for a STEM camp and teacher grants, and funded Science Fiction Workshops to train early childhood and elementary school teachers how to cultivate science literacy through storytelling.
In addition, in 2015 Marathon Oil supported:
Research shows that 90 percent of brain development occurs by age five, yet only 5 percent of public education dollars are spent on early childhood education. In addition, the majority of children are not ready for letter identification, counting, number recognition and writing their name when they enter kindergarten. To address these issues, in 2015 Marathon Oil supported programs such as United Way’s Bright Beginnings program designed to help children from lower-income families enter school ready to succeed.
At Browning Elementary School, we donated 600 books – one for every child at the school. This helped address a startling statistic that only one book is available for every 300 children in low-income area homes, and students who are not reading at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of school, Through a partnership with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, we sponsored its annual Celebration of Reading event and donated 40 gently used computers to community-based organizations for their literacy and workforce development programs.
To develop a future workforce for the oil and gas industry, we offer college scholarships for students from the U.S., Equatorial Guinea and Kurdistan Region of Iraq to study core disciplines such as geosciences, engineering and supply chain. We are also developing a scholarship program for our asset in Gabon.
Marathon Oil also provides scholarships to four-year colleges and technical and vocational training through the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Rotary Club in Karnes County, the NAACP and UNCF.
Guided by our Integrated Education Funding Model, Marathon Oil continues to seek effective programs to educate children, support teachers and strengthen communities.