Supporting STEM education and skilled trades in Canada.

Youth working on an engineering STEM education concept.

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.

 

References.

  1. https://www.firstinspires.org/stories/bringing-stem-engagement-disadvantaged-youth
  2.  https://www.theedadvocate.org/stem-education-can-help-end-poverty/ 

About the Author

Penny Wise

[enBio=Penny has more than 20 years of global brand and marketing experience, including Global Marketing Director of 3M’s Safety and Industrial Business Group, its largest business based at 3M global headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. Penny also led 3M’s 2015 global rebrand: “Science. Applied to Life.™” She started her career at 3M Canada in 2000 and in January 2020 moved back to Canada to take on the role of President. ],[enJob=President, 3M Canada],[frBio=Penny possède plus de 20 ans d’expérience en marque et en marketing à l’échelle mondiale, y compris en tant que directrice du marketing mondial au sein du Secteur sécurité et industriel de 3M, soit le plus important secteur de l’entreprise basé à son siège social mondial de St. Paul, au Minnesota. Penny a également dirigé le changement de la marque 3M à l’échelle mondiale en 2015 : « Science. Au service de la Vie.MC ». Elle a débuté sa carrière au sein de 3M Canada en 2000, puis elle est retournée au Canada en janvier 2020 pour occuper le poste de présidente. ],[frJob=Présidente, 3M Canada]

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