Well, I see Jonah is engaging in his favorite pastime of Tormenting the Suits. His Chevron/robots post has fun at the expense of a valued NR advertiser of yore (and one can only hope the future). Left with no choice, I don armor and helmet and mount steed to joust with my colleague, for a match of Ye Old Lesson-Teaching.
Of course, Jonah’s lance is longer than mine, so I expect annihilation, but before I go to my reward, I must say, seriously, that I have zero problem with Chevron engaging in Professor Science-y school programs, and then bragging about it as part of an advertising campaign. Some ad efforts sell gasoline, others create a corporate image — the market will decide if this approach works. And as a father of five (middle school, high school, college, and one graduate), and a one-time BattleBots junkie, I personally find this robot program worthwhile: In a nation that ranks behind everyone from Burkina Fatso to Burpistan in science-test scores, it’s a good thing when a company seeks to inspire the inner Jimmy Neutron in American kids. It is precisely the encouragement they need, and indeed what the country needs.
So: Kudos to the oil boys for trying to make science interesting to youngsters. And as for you, Jonah, yes, you are right — all of us wish companies such as Chevron would be content knowing they provide countless jobs, enhance the retirement of millions, and make cars go broom broom. Nevertheless — Prepare ye for mine lance!