Texas City, Texas,
07:02 PM

Refinery employees introduce Girl Scouts to the exciting world of STEM

Employees from Marathon Petroleum Corporation's (MPC's) Galveston Bay (GBR) and Texas City refineries in Texas hosted a Marathon Petroleum Girl Scout Day in April 2016 as part of a continuing effort to encourage young interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-related careers.

Approximately 80 Girl Scouts, accompanied by nearly 40 refinery employee volunteers, participated in the daylong session, held at the MPC Training Center in Texas City.

“As the mother of two Girl Scouts, I believe it’s critical that all of the girls learn the importance of STEM and how our industry falls in line with STEM-related courses,” explains Erika Speer, a scheduler at GBR. “The idea was sparked when Ray Brooks [former GBR general manager] met my daughters at a volunteer function.” Brooks pointed out that MPC supports local Boy Scouts, and he envisioned employee support of local Girl Scouts too.

The day began with a welcome from both Texas City General Manager Connie Bradley and GBR General Manager Rich Hernandez, followed by an introduction to the petroleum industry. The Scouts then rotated through a series of demonstrations and experiments—several of which satisfied requirements for Girl Scout badges. They included how to properly collect water samples, how perfume and fire-resistant fabrics are made, and demonstrations illustrating the expansion of gases, static electricity, freezing of fresh roses with liquid nitrogen, the chemistry of fire, and the effects of corrosion.

“We heard numerous positive comments throughout the day from both the adults and Girl Scouts,” says Monica Wagner, senior refining engineer. “The day was exciting, and it showed that both employees and the community have a lot of interest in this type of outreach. It would be great to keep it going!”