Exxonmobil foundation awards second grant to Rutgers University in Newark for geoscience scholars program

Add This

The ExxonMobil Foundation has awarded the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the Newark campus of Rutgers University an additional grant of $15,000 to supplement the department’s Geoscience Scholars Program, a project primarily funded by the National Science Foundation.

“We were quite pleased and honored to receive our first grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation last year when, after learning about the program through interviews and an on-campus visit, the foundation made its initial award of $10,000,” explained Dr. Philip L. Yeagle, dean of the Newark College of Arts and Sciences and University College. “A second grant of $15,000 is equally rewarding.”

Through the Geoscience Scholars Program, Dr. Alexander E. Gates of Cranford, New Jersey, aspires to create a pipeline of future geoscientists. “We show high school students that science offers rewarding career opportunities often overlooked,” says Gates, chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Rutgers-Newark and founder of the Geoscience Scholars Program.

Students from Newark’s Barringer High School, Science Park High School, and Technology High School participate in the Geoscience Scholars Program as geoexplorers or summer scholars. As geoexplorers, ninth graders engage in enrichment activities at The Newark Museum on certain Saturdays during the school year. Summer scholars, mostly rising tenth graders, spend one month during the summer engaged in various geoscience activities and attending classes offered by the Summer Scholars Institute.

“The monies we’ve received from the National Science Foundation and ExxonMobil have enabled us to design and develop highly interactive teaching devices,” said Gates. “Using games, models, and other manipulatives, students can search and drill for oil, simulate a tsunami, detect landfill leakage, monitor water levels and flooding threats, and determine the flow of pollutants in ground water. Simply put, the Geoscience Scholars Program helps make science more tangible and entertaining.”