Everybody wants to focus on the downward trend of students interested in pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. But it’s important that we don’t mistake this for apathy.
We need to acknowledge how conscientious today’s students are. They care about the state of the environment, society, and the world. They know there are very real changes we need to make to secure our future, and they are ready and eager to drive them.
What today’s students are missing is an understanding of how STEM education can help them deliver on their brighter future. It’s our responsibility to help them make the connection between STEM and the cause.
Video: We showed 200 Toronto students that their hopes for the future are within reach with a STEM education:
Tomorrow’s leaders are anything but indifferent.
There are a lot of stereotypes about the next generation. All too often I hear “millennials” or “gen-z” described as apathetic or self-interested.
Personally, I have not found this to be the case.
As a leader in our R&D community, I regularly get an audience with tomorrow’s leaders at events like the Canada 2067 Regional Youth Summits. When I ask students about their aspirations, they are well-informed on some of the most complex issues facing our world. Students speak passionately about climate change, energy management, food scarcity, and population health. They are motivated to take action, and are hopeful they can make a difference.
They just aren’t always sure how to put their plans into action.
“When I was in school, I didn't know any of these jobs existed. I didn't know my career existed until I was 20 years old. If I had of known this was an option when I was 16, 17, 18, I would have started right away.” – Leigha Mitchell, Software Developer, Hubba
STEM education provides the tools to put a brighter future within reach.
At 3M, we believe STEM education is the answer.
Research and development is the heartbeat of our company. From making vehicles lighter and more fuel efficient, to making roads safer, our customers turn to us to help turn their most visionary ideas into reality. To do this, we quite literally apply science to life.
Some of our success hinges on the strength of our technologies themselves. But even more important than the tools are the talented people who know how to use them.
Whether chemists, coders, or engineers, each member of our R&D team has the ability to solve problems, think critically, analyze data, and work together. These skillsets are all hallmarks of a STEM education.
If we can help students understand how STEM disciplines can enable them to take action, we can harness their passion into a brighter future for all of us.
Learn how we’re helping students realize their STEM career dreams.
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About the Author
[enBio=As a scientist by trade, Randy is a born problem-solver. Each day he inspires his team of 150 innovators to leverage science, technology, and R and D to help improve Canadian business. Randy has dedicated his life to science, with more than 17 years at 3M and countless leadership positions in the community.],[enJob=Executive Director Research and Development, Quality and Regulatory Affairs, 3M Canada],[frBio=Scientifique de formation, Randy est un solutionneur de problèmes inné. Chaque jour, il inspire son équipe de 150 novateurs à tirer profit de la science, de la technologie et de la R-D pour améliorer le milieu canadien des affaires. Ayant consacré sa vie à la science et fort de plus de 17 années au sein de 3M, Randy a également occupé d’innombrables positions de direction au sein de la communauté.],[frJob=Directeur exécutif, Recherche et développement, Qualité et Affaires réglementaires, Compagnie 3M Canada]More From Randy Frank