Chevron’s Fuel Your School program allows K-12 teachers in participating districts to request a chunk of petro-change to implement classroom projects, particularly in STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering, and math. In participating areas, the company contributes $1 toward projects and equipment for every fill-up of at least 30 liters (about 8 gallons) at a local Chevron station. That way, drivers can feel good about buying gasoline, and, in a horrifyingly ironic twist, kids can thank their elders for burning a fuel whose emissions are wrecking their future!
And what does Chevron get in return? A little air time with the kiddos! Check out the company’s propaganda video:
On its website, the megacorporation explains that it is interested in helping “prepare students for the growing number of technical jobs in the modern economy, including possible engineering positions at Chevron.” Ignoring the dubiousness of the “growing number of technical jobs” claim (have they heard of robots?), if Chevron is still hiring petroleum engineers by the time today’s elementary schoolers are looking for work, we’re probably fucked.
The good news? Teachers in Vancouver, B.C., say they want none of the dirty money. Last month, the North Vancouver and West Vancouver school districts both signed up for Fuel Your School, but many incensed teachers are opting out for moral reasons, according to North Shore News.
“Even the name Fuel Your School, it’s about promoting the idea of an oil product,” said Martin Stuible, vice president of the North Vancouver Teachers’ Association. He also pointed out that accepting Chevron’s money excuses British Columbia’s government from some of its responsibility for funding education — and steers attention away from shortfalls in provincial funding.
Do we really want a company that continues to search for more oil when we’ve already found more than enough to fry us all to have any say in how science and math are taught to the generation charged with cleaning up the climate mess?
Big Oil already corrupts political outcomes with generous donations. To see that same fate befall educational outcomes would be heartbreaking.