Devon and our communities need an educated and innovative workforce to grow and prosper. We help our communities by partnering with schools and educational programs to encourage student interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Supporting underserved populations

In recent years we’ve strengthened our STEM philanthropic focus on underserved populations to support Devon’s technology leadership goals and our inclusion and diversity vision. In partnership with qualified organizations that have a track record in STEM, we provide resources and materials, and implement programs to empower women, rural communities and minorities.

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At the University of Oklahoma Tom Love Innovation Hub, we sponsored the 2017 Design + Do challenge that gave fifth-graders a chance to design and build prototypes of their ideas for playgrounds of the future. With mentoring from Devon employees, students from eight elementary schools created prototypes using 3D printers, laser cutters and other materials and presented their creations to a panel of judges. The event encouraged STEM skills, creativity and collaboration.

Devon also provided funding for the Oklahoma regional finals of the 2017 FIRST Robotics competition in Oklahoma City, where teams had six weeks to plan and build a robot to compete in a themed challenge. FIRST Robotics is a nonprofit founded in 1989 to inspire young adults to join the field of science and technology. Additionally, Devon provided seed money to expand the FIRST Lego League to several rural schools across western Oklahoma.

Our sponsorship of the Oklahoma FFA Agriscience Fair helps students in rural communities understand the connections between the agriculture and oil and gas industries, which work on the same ground. In 2017, 225 students participated in 157 projects that encouraged critical thinking to solve problems related to our industry. Of the participants, 64 percent were female and 77 percent reported that their experience with the fair contributed to a favorable view of the oil and gas industry.

Devon has supported the Math Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Inc. program of enriched STEM activities for junior high and high school students in New Mexico since 2014. We sponsor MESA’s Energy and Education Fair, which hosts more than 600 students in Artesia to learn about our equipment, safety programs and environmental focus. We also have presented four $20,000 Devon Achievement Award Scholarships to students in southeastern New Mexico to help them pursue oil and gas careers.

The Southwestern Alliance for Girls’ Enrichment (SAGE) STEM camp is a week-long residential program hosted by Southwestern Oklahoma State University for girls entering eighth grade. Campers spend a day of exploration in Oklahoma City, including a visit to Devon to explore virtual reality with a Microsoft HoloLens, a computer headset which integrates holograms into the real world. Campers also participate in hands-on activities such as speaking with talking robots known as chatbots, examining fossils and learning about life as a geologist from female scientists.

In southeastern New Mexico, Devon supported the Carlsbad Community Foundation’s Inspired by Science Camp for the first time in 2017 to expose children in third through fifth grade to STEM fields. Students attended the one-week camp free of charge. It was also our second year to be the presenting sponsor of the Balloon Explorium program for fifth-graders enrolled in Artesia public schools. The children worked in teams on a fun, hands-on activity that expanded their classroom curriculum. These two programs served about 450 children and engaged about 20 Devon volunteers in 2017.

Devon Canada partners with Chic Geek, a non-profit that seeks to build a supportive community for women at the intersection of technology and entrepreneurship. Devon’s partnership is focused on removing financial barriers for women to participate in Geeky Summit, a conference that provides professional development and inspiration for those who are underrepresented in the technology sector.

More than 100 employees used their STEM expertise to judge student projects at the Calgary Youth Science Fair and Northern Lights School Division Science Fair in rural Alberta. Our employee judges inspire students to discover their potential in STEM fields and to grow their great ideas into real-world initiatives.

Encouraging Ingenuity

Devon will continue to underwrite STEM programs that inspire children to think creatively and empower the next generation of problem solvers who will shape the future of our industry. We hope the programs we support will encourage students to pursue the STEM education that prepares them for technology, technical and operational careers.