1. Home
  2. News and insights
  3. Featured articles
  4. BP sponsors a Chicago STEM event ─ Science Works

BP sponsors a Chicago STEM event ─ Science Works

Release date:
23 October 2019
For more than 40 years, BP has been a proud supporter of Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry.

This year, BP identified a new opportunity to support the museum and engage our STEM Ambassadors – as part of our broader commitment to promoting careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

Science Works

This weekend, BP served as the presenting sponsor of Science Works, an event that introduces local youth to STEM career paths.

Thousands of Chicago-area students and their families attended Science Works and learned about real jobs directly from engineers, neuroscientists, software developers and other STEM professionals. BP was among nearly 40 companies participating in Science Works.

Why it matters:

“With the reducing numbers of students entering STEM education programs and therefore STEM careers, it is important that we try to create interest to capture their minds early,” said Craig Bealmear, chief financial officer, BP Fuels, North America. “One way to do this is by supporting the MSI Science Works event that connects kids with various technology innovations and industries in a fun and motivating way. This gives them just a small glimpse at what their future could look like and starts a dialogue on the many STEM possibilities out there.”

As the event sponsor, BP had a significant role with more than 30 employee volunteers and STEM Ambassadors on hand to show students how to make an anemometer to measure wind speed, to guess which products use crude oil, to try on safety gear and see the energy transition video using the virtual reality headsets.

“I enjoy STEM outreach because you get to influence youth in the way they may view STEM concepts,” explained Khristina Weaver, pricing analyst, BP Fuels, North America. “I know everyone who comes to events like this will not be a STEM professional but sparking a handful of students' interests in those fields is worth it.”

By the numbers:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. News and World Report:

  • STEM professionals work in labs, clinics, offices and classrooms in a variety of careers that pay well
  • Science and engineering occupations will rise 18.7 percent between 2010 and 2020, a 31 percent higher rate than all occupations
  • In 2019, best job was software developer with median salary of $101,790 followed by statistician with median salary of $84,060
  • Projected jobs
    • Software developer - 255,400
    • Statistician - 12,060