ExxonMobil is Hands-on at SteamFest with STEM Billings
September 11, 2019
Sunday, September 29, 2019
6:00 PM— 9:00 PMUTC
At the Billings Depot-held 2019 SteamFest on September 29, ExxonMobil is teaming up with STEM Billings to present an activity that is a test of engineering and design skills. Kids will have the opportunity to make mini-catapults and then see if they can launch materials at targets! In the words of Dan Carter, “It’s gonna be a gas!” So, don’t miss it!
We asked Dan how engaging kids in STEAM has the potential to impact their future. He reflects that the future belongs to those who are prepared enough to embrace change, who can adapt and creatively solve problems. Skills, Dan notes, that are embedded in STEAM-related jobs. There has been a shift over the past several years that has seen the jobs in highest demand being those with foundations in science, technology, engineering, and math. The thread that ties them all together, says Dan, is an ability to creatively and collaboratively communicate ideas and strategies (all things you find with an arts background). “A hands-on understanding of the relevance of STEAM now positions kids to be successful in the future, no matter what that future holds.”
To facilitate STEAM at home, Dan points out that STEAM is all around us. He assures us that parents need not be afraid to talk about STEAM – they don’t have to have all the answers, but they should open the door to talk about STEAM. Citing examples like: I wonder how insulation works? Did you ever wonder about what insects do in the winter? Do you think a house made of sticks would be easier to build? To help cultivate these curiosities, he notes various resources available in Billings, such as Wise Wonders Children’s Museum, the Montana Audubon Center, and Billings Public Library as great places to start.
As for ExxonMobil, a global company, Dan states that without embracing STEAM concepts, they wouldn’t be a successful company. He explains, ExxonMobil is a company that “depends on people who are unafraid to take on challenges, use thinking and problem-solving skills to tackle those challenges and work in groups to get tasks done. We use engineers of all kinds: pipefitters, electricians, equipment operators, machinists and mechanics; to do important work every day.”