The skillsets of the next generation's leaders, Canada's current students, are taking shape. But, there's an obstacle that they must overcome: a lack of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The 2020 3M State of Science Index found that gender, race, and ethnicity are a few factors that inhibit diversity in STEM. We know that there is power when a diverse group of individuals work to solve a problem. Yet, there are multiple barriers to creating equal opportunities in STEM fields.
Under-resourced communities often face special challenges while pursuing STEM fields. Students are less likely to be familiar with the subject, and it's harder to find coaches and mentors with STEM backgrounds. This creates a cycle as an obstacle to access STEM education results in a lack of higher quality education, and ultimately career options.1,2
Everyone deserves access to impactful and possibly life-changing STEM experiences. To make sure today's youth have the tools and access to solve some of our world’s biggest problems, we need to create opportunities to help them pursue STEM fields. As part of our overall commitment to creating greater equity in our communities, 3M has set a new global, education-focused goal.
A new STEM education goal to empower underrepresented individuals.
To help advance social and economic equity, 3M will globally create five million unique STEM and skilled trades learning experiences for underrepresented individuals by the end of 2025. These experiences will offer scholarships, internships, and student services for STEM majors, while providing experiential learning opportunities
In Canada, we will continue to invest in STEM initiatives within our communities. We have a long history of being mentors and volunteers for several local community-based initiatives, such as First Robotics, Skills Ontario, and the London Children’s Museum, and have a passion for inspiring scientific acumen in our youth.
As 3M globally works towards achieving our goal, we look forward to strengthening our non-profit partnerships that will help improve educational outcomes and inspire curiosity in our youth.
“3M has the unique capability and opportunity to introduce all people to STEM and trades skills careers. That introduction can start with an experience that gives someone a peek of what could be or fully opens their mind to a path of opportunities they may or may not have ever been thought about." - Michael Stroik, Vice President of Community Relations.
STEM education: building a mindset to create solutions for the future.
Our new STEM goal is a building block of preparing the youth of today to be the inventors of tomorrow. As a science organization, we will act on our commitment to empower the youth of Canada, and through our partnerships and initiatives, we hope to create a world where every student can have access to STEM experiences.
A scientific process and exploration can help teach our youth an important mindset - skills and abilities can be developed over time through perseverance. This mindset can create resiliency and passion for learning that is essential to succeed in life. As we have seen over the past year, STEM fields can impact the way we live profoundly with the solutions they create.
We will continue to share the progress we make in Canada as we aim to empower today’s youth with crucial STEM skills and experiences. Sign up for our newsletter below to receive these updates in your inbox.