Explore the latest news about the STEM Careers CoalitionTM and the latest information from the STEM industry. Stay tuned for more information from our Corporate Partners on closing the educational access gap and inspiring all students have the chance to achieve career success.
STEMconnector's Virtual Webinar
Recently the STEM Careers CoalitionTM was featured on STEMconnector’s What's Working? virtual webinar series highlighting how this cross-sector consortium is working collectively to address the STEM workforce talent gap and connect students to the flexible STEM skills at the heart of solving something as massive as a global pandemic.
Three key points from the conversation:
- STEM skills have never been more relevant to students than they are right now.
"STEM careers are at the heart of the most impactful work being done right now" said Julia Asoni, Senior Director of Youth Engagement at the Manufacturing Institute. "Epidemiologists... Health Care Workers... Software Developers… I.T. Managers… Biomedical Engineers… Data Scientists… it’s a truly extraordinary opportunity to put a spotlight on STEM skills." Amy Nakamoto, Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Discovery Education noted “It’s odd to say, but this is a STEM moment. Think about NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) and phenomena-based learning – you can’t get a more clear phenomena to tackle than the coronavirus.” Students are curious about what is happening in the world, and we need to empower them with inquiry-based learning opportunities that lead to the STEM solutions industry is putting to work towards solving this health crisis. "We as the STEM Careers Coalition have set out to showcase how STEM is coming together to solve for this pandemic, and the skillsets, careers, industries and companies that are tackling this. We are working to tell the powerful and inspirational STEM stories behind COVID-19, but in a way that makes them tangible for students, by providing educators with accessible STEM lessons of COVID-19 and the careers and companies connected." As Sam Whiting, Boeing’s Director of Global Engagement, put it, “Making relevant career connections for students is at the heart of what we’re trying to accomplish.”
- To effectively tackle the STEM talent gap, we need to take a coordinated, collaborative approach.
Rebecca Winkel, Economic Advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), discussed the significant overlap in the foundational STEM skills needed across all industries, and Boeing's Sam Whiting stressed the importance of a coordinated effort by the private sector. He noted the need to support educators in making industry-wide STEM skills relevant to tomorrow’s workforce in classroom curriculum today. According to Manufacturing Institute’s Julia Asoni, "K-12 STEM education goals are best addressed by a coalition of leaders. We all need each other to rise, and that’s why you see the leading representatives for the Oil and Gas Industry, and the Manufacturing Industry, and others all joined as anchor partners in this initiative."
- We need to build awareness of STEM opportunities starting in kindergarten, before misperceptions are formed.
One of the biggest talent challenges noted that the oil and gas industry faces, according to API’s Rebecca Winkel, is awareness of the wide range of careers, especially amongst more diverse student populations. "People tend to have a narrow view of what you can do in oil and gas, and it’s critical for our industry to tell these stories about the breadth of opportunities available and the pathways to get there." The Manufacturing Institute's Julia Asoni built upon this point, emphasizing the importance of introducing youth to industries and putting STEM skills into context for students at a young age. "When goals are related to perception, awareness and inspiration – we need to start early, and through a much broader approach."
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