100 CEO Leaders throughout the country were recently interviewed in a new publication from STEM Connector®, an organization with the goal of becoming “The one-stop for STEM Information.” According to their website “STEMconnector® works closely with corporations and other organizations to provide them with a set of tools and resources that support their corporate development, corporate structure and smart STEM investments.” STEM Connector® offers resources to both the corporate and educational communities; all supporting the goal of compiling and disseminating information to STEM related stakeholders.
The business leaders recognized in the publication are from companies large and small throughout the United States. Each CEO profile includes his or her feedback on the importance of STEM education on our nation’s future competitiveness. These CEOs also provide insight into how to avert and change the course of our educational crisis along with the initiatives each company is pursuing to advance STEM skills and jobs. Some of the companies represented by their CEOs include Randall Stevenson of AT & T, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Doug Oberhelman of Caterpillar, Ellen Kullma of Du Pont and Marillyn A. Hewson of Lockheed Martin Corporation.
Each CEO was specifically asked about the company STEM initiative for which they were most proud. The president of The Rodon Group and K’NEX, Michael Araten, spoke about K’NEX Education STEM sets. This is an excerpt from his profile. “We are America’s only building STEM solution. We design and provide over 25 K’NEX Education STEM sets for classroom use. Each set provides a complete STEM solution, focusing on STEM concepts taught in sequences that build upon each other and have real-world applications. Teacher guides include inquiry-based lessons that challenge students as they build, investigate, problem solve, discuss, and evaluate scientific and design principles in action. It is literally innovation in action. This hands-on, inter-disciplinary approach gives students the skills and knowledge they need to become lifelong learners who can solve problems, think critically, work collaboratively and adapt to change in today’s technologically evolving world.”
The STEMconnector® organization has created a great deal of material for participants in the STEM community. Here is a brief review of the resources they provide.
STEMconnector™.org provides a map of supporting educational STEM resources from a wide range of organizations including corporations, educational organizations and associations. To access this resource go to the STEMdirectory. There you will find a list by major categories. Click on the subcategory of interest and you will be taken to a library of descriptions and additional detail.
STEMdaily is an email communication that compiles all things STEM related. According to the website, “STEMdaily® aggregates and curates news stories in STEM Education for all professionals interested in staying up-to-date on the latest developments in STEM. These news stories will cover topics in Education (from K-20+), Diversity and Women in STEM, Corporations and the Career Pipeline, Competitions and Conferences, Scholarships and Grants, Government, Non-Profits, Trade and Professional Associations, States, Innovation, Foundations, Testing and Assessments, STEM Policy, and much more.”
The website’s “State-by State” page provides an overview of the STEM investment, job growth and educational focus. The information is provided by Alliance for Science and Technology Research in America or ASTRA. This organization provides 60 metrics for each state allowing for comparison and analysis.
STEM Connector® also offers hard copy and electronic publications and major reports. Their EdTech Weekly focuses on the ever changing and advancing world of educational technology and their data visualization products offer customized analysis on various levels of geography from state to the school district level.
The lack of strong STEM education, skills and training in our country are nothing new. Like many critical issues that face our nation, we knew this gap existed but did little to change the course. Today, with organizations like STEMconnector® leading the way, we are hopeful that our country and tomorrow’s STEM workers and professionals have a brighter future ahead.