Esso Australia helping to keep the future bright

Through its Bright Future Grants program, Esso Australia is helping schools and students adjust to remote learning.

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Esso Australia helping to keep the future bright

Every year, a significant focus of our community contributions program is our Bright Future Grants initiative which supports maths and science education in schools close to our Australian operations.

While schools normally appreciate the opportunity to enhance their STEM programs with resources and materials supported by our Bright Future Grants, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought them new and more pressing challenges.

With the Victorian Government instructing schools to conduct remote learning for the majority of students from the start of the second school term, many local schools have had to quickly adjust to a new way of teaching and engaging students.

Gippsland Production Manager, Stu Jeffries, said the Esso team identified an opportunity to revise the Bright Future Gants program to better meet schools’ immediate needs given the unique circumstances.

“Schools have successfully moved to remote learning with very little notice,” said Stu.

“Through the transition, many schools identified gaps in technology or other resources to support at-home learning.

“To help address this need, we broadened the scope of projects schools could apply for through our Bright Future Grants program.

“Some schools have applied for basic technology, such as tablets, laptops and Chromebooks, which don’t require an in-home internet connection, as well as simple resources like books, to support remote learning for kids that don’t have access to these resources at home” said Stu.

“Other schools have stuck with the STEM theme but moved to virtual teaching resources, such as Mathletics on-line maths program subscriptions, and even grow-your-own herb garden kits for students who were set to learn about the plant growth cycle this term.

“Some schools even used the funding to purchase equipment necessary for teachers to conduct remote learning including headsets and webcams, equipment that just wasn’t needed in a traditional classroom setting.”

In total, 32 schools close to Altona Refinery, Birkenhead Terminal, Longford Gas Plants, Long Island Point, Offshore and Yarraville Terminal have received a COVID-19 edition Bright Future Grant this year.