We believe that contributing to educational quality in our areas of operation helps to build vibrant, self-sustaining communities and represents an investment in developing local potential employees for our company and industry. Oil and natural gas are traditional energy sources, but the technologies the industry uses to develop these resources in ever-safer and cleaner ways push the lines of high technology. Encouraging our future technology developers is a true win-win.
Our university-level educational contributions for 2011 totaled $16.0 million, and 2012 planned contributions are $17.0 million. We support student scholarships, student organizations, faculty fellowships and academic programs around the world.
Our higher-education contributions are made with three objectives – recruiting talented individuals in such critical skill areas as engineering and project management; supporting corporate strategy in growth regions such as Russia and the Asia Pacific area; and strengthening community relations in countries in need of education infrastructure.
In addition, ConocoPhillips pledged $15 million to support science and engineering programs at the University of Alaska Anchorage. This gift, to be administered over a multi-year period, is the largest the company has ever made in Alaska and is the largest single corporate gift that the university system has received.
We support retention and development of minority, first generation or economically disadvantaged students in college engineering and business programs, such as summer academic bridge programs for entering first-year students at Texas Tech University, the Colorado School of Mines, the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and Kansas State University.
We support K-12 educational programs, specifically those that encourage careers in engineering and technology. In 2008, ConocoPhillips partnered with the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project
to provide America’s teachers – and ultimately its students – with training and resources on key energy topics. The partnership is designed to equip teachers with tools and information that they can incorporate into daily classroom activities to improve their students’ energy knowledge.
The company’s partnership with NEED has provided training and resources to more than 3,100 teachers and approximately 290,000 students on key energy issues that will affect them today and in the future. In 2012, ConocoPhillips and NEED will host 22 one-day energy workshops for teachers across 15 states.
ConocoPhillips also is a long-time supporter of National Engineers Week, which increases awareness and appreciation of the profession through activities directed at middle-school students. Other U.S. programs, such as MATHCOUNTS, encourage interest and proficiency in mathematics and related careers. Teachers’ skills are enhanced through programs like the ConocoPhillips Summer Science Institute, which exposes teachers to imaginative and challenging possibilities in the study of mathematics and science, and the ConocoPhillips’ Rice Elementary Model Science Lab, which promotes science education by providing training to elementary school teachers about the latest science concepts and new teaching methods aimed at students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Internationally, the Energy Challenge is a research-centered program presented by ConocoPhillips employees to 10th grade students in Australia’s Northern Territory. Through our hands-on involvement, students and teachers are exposed to the details of the oil and gas industry, including exploration, production, drilling, transportation, refining and sustainable development. The students work in teams on their chosen projects, which are judged at the end of the year. The students also tour our Darwin liquefied natural gas facility.
In Indonesia, ConocoPhillips awarded SPIRIT Scholarships to 20 local high school graduates to pursue degree programs in mechanical and chemical engineering at the Sriwijaya Polytechnic University in Palembang, South Sumatera. Through a partnership with the university, the company also supported school reconstruction projects at four schools: SDN Tampang Baru, SDN Muara Merang, SDN Sukamaju and SMAN 7 Batanghari. Further, we have benefited local youth by donating computers and books and have provided training for teachers and principals.
In northern Russia, our Polar Lights joint venture has sponsored several local organizations through a project called Children of Arkhangelsk. One project uses speech-visualization software to teach deaf children to speak, while another gives orphaned children basic self-reliance skills. Polar Lights also purchased a horse for the Arkhangelsk Rehabilitation Center for Disabled Children, where riding on horseback helps stimulate neurological function and sensory processing for children with infantile cerebral paralysis.
In Lagos, Nigeria, we funded the construction and furnishing of an eight-classroom block for pupils of Wesley School for the Hearing Impaired. The school, established in 1962 for an original student population of 30, now has more than 600 pupils in the same facilities. ConocoPhillips has assisted the government by improving the school’s water and sanitation services. We are committed to maintaining and sustaining these improvements, and periodically meet with the school’s staff and other stakeholders to ensure that the facilities are running efficiently.