Each day at Kosmos, we use the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to do our jobs. We interpret seismic data to identify potential oil and gas deposits. We plan deepwater drilling operations targeting prospects located more than three miles below the ocean floor. We study the rocks we bring to the surface to better understand where oil and gas might be found. Being at the forefront of science and technology is how we play our part in helping to meet the world’s energy needs and how we create value for our shareholders.
The shortage of people with training in the STEM disciplines poses a potential long-term threat to many businesses, including our own. In 2015, Kosmos announced a partnership with the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to face this challenge head-on by helping Dallas school teachers develop their ability to train and inspire young people in the STEM disciplines.
The STEM Teacher Institute is an innovative program offered through the Perot Museum to improve the quality of formal science instruction for participating kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, and increase interest and engagement among their students in STEM subjects. Through this program, teachers enjoy professional development opportunities and access to the Perot Museum’s network of educators and vast resources.
The program involves a formal application process for teachers to ensure they are invested and committed. Chosen teachers from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area attend a week-long Summer Academy, where they are grouped according to their level of comfort and expertise in sciences – pre-service teachers, novice teachers, advanced teachers, and mentor teachers – rather than by grade level.
Instruction continues through the academic year with five professional development sessions held on weekends twice a month, for which they receive continuing education credits required for teachers by the Texas Education Agency. The teachers are also mentored throughout the academic year.
Kosmos employees – engineers, geologists, and geophysicists – have served as guest speakers on science related topics, including the practical application of scientific principles in business. This has been a successful way to simultaneously build capacity of local educators while providing a way for our employees to engage in their community. The program reaches about 4,800 students during the school year, with participating teachers reporting increased confidence and creativity in teaching the STEM disciplines.