One of our greatest strengths at Schlumberger is the diversity of our people, and their passion to make positive changes in the communities where we work and live. Educational outreach connects us to these communities and helps us build shared values.
In alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, our investments in quality education—especially among women and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds—provide a range of educational experiences. These include everything from science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities for young people to helping students understand and make safe, considered HSE-related decisions. Schlumberger also provides funding for women from emerging economies to pursue PhD or post-doctoral studies in STEM subjects at leading universities worldwide.
In 1998 we founded the Schlumberger Excellence in Education Development (SEED) program. Our vision is to ignite a passion for science and learning in young people and empower them to use knowledge and technology creatively to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
SEED encompasses a variety of STEM-related activities including classroom workshops, coding and robotics clubs, competitions, and a focus on enhancing classroom connectivity. Through hands-on learning and innovative experiments, we bring science to life and ignite a life-long passion for learning. We also provide a variety of professional development opportunities for STEM teachers to support them in classroom.
By partnering directly with educators in our communities, we gain valued insights on local requirements, resources, and systems enabling us to build programs together focused on priorities such as inequality, digitalization, and climate change.
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way young people learn, and consequently the way we deliver our educational programs.
When the pandemic struck, we immediately developed virtual HSE for Youth workshops to provide students with information about the virus and how they could keep themselves and others safe. By using an app and video conferencing capabilities, our volunteers continued to engage with students on subjects such as hand washing, distancing, and looking after each other at home during a lockdown.
We also adapted the SEED program to offer distance learning solutions, remote mentoring, and online educational resources. In 2021, we implemented SEED projects in 36 countries through a mixture of virtual and in-person events.
Our SEED events are uniquely tailored to our communities and widely vary in scope.
In the US, we’ve teamed up with the Houston Texans to create the Stats Challenge, a program which gives students the chance to learn mathematics through American football. In Nigeria, our teams established a reading project with local schools to inspire a passion for literature and STEM, by reading and discussing a book based on the true story of a young person in Africa who created a makeshift wind turbine to power appliances in his family's home. Over 120 children participated in the project.
In Mexico, for the past six years, we have sponsored teams of students from the SEED program to participate in national and international robotics tournaments. With the support of more than 100 volunteers and community teachers, we delivered 32 workshops to more than 3,900 students in over 60 different schools, helping them to participate in nine robotics tournaments.
Some of our other SEED activities across the globe include hosting after-school robotics workshops in Russia, equipping computer labs for coding classes in schools in rural India, developing STEM teacher training workshops in Ecuador, and running the PetroChallenge educational conference for high school students in Norway.
Empowering and upskilling women and girls to build their career is fundamental to building individual opportunity as well as contributing to economic growth.
While SEED takes a grassroots approach of encouraging girls to pursue STEM vocations, the Schlumberger Foundation’s Faculty for the Future program seeks to accelerate gender balance in STEM by awarding fellowships to women from developing economies to pursue advanced graduate studies in STEM subjects at top universities. As well as aligning with SDG 4, the program also aligns with SDG 5 (gender equality). Upon completion of their studies, the fellows are expected to return to their home countries to contribute to the economic, social, and technological advancement of their home regions. Since the program’s launch in 2004, 721 women from 80 countries have received fellowships at 276 universities.
Our community outreach events also have an important role to play in promoting positive female role models. For example, in the United States, the regional chapter of Connect Women, one of our global employee resource groups, is organizing STEM workshops and virtual mentorships for girls enrolled in the ChickTech: High School program, and in Brazil we are holding online sessions with students, and their teachers to discuss career opportunities for women in STEM.
We are currently re-imagining our lesson kits—known as SEEDKITs—for student workshops using STEM activities to focus on the challenges addressed by the SDGs. Students and teachers will identify and select a challenge related to the SDGs which is impacting their community, such as clean drinking water (clean water and sanitation—SDG 6) or sustainable power generation (affordable and clean energy—SDG 7). The SEEDKIT will supplement the student’s understanding of how STEM knowledge and skills can help them develop community action plans to solve the challenge.
We have a lot to do! And by partnering with local stakeholders, we can continue to deliver and facilitate STEM learning for young people and women, with the aim of inspiring the next generation to become agents of change in their communities to fuel a more sustainable future.
Learn more about SEED and other educational initiatives in our Sustainability Report.