Developing Tomorrow's STEM Leaders Today
Update May 19, 2016 - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today received a STEM Education Leadership Award. The award, presented by Nasdaq and EverFi, recognizes the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s significant efforts to improve STEM education and career readiness for students across North America. Sixteen institutions were honored with this distinction at a ceremony hosted at the Nasdaq Marketsite in New York City.
“The fastest growing jobs in America are in STEM fields, and it’s critical for our economy and America that we have the people with the right skills to fill these jobs,” said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “The EverFi program is a fantastic way to expose more students to careers in STEM, and we are honored to receive this award as we continue to pursue this important work.”
Exciting, innovative, the future. These were the words used to describe STEM by the students at Spring Branch Middle School in Houston, TX who just completed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s (USCCF) Achieving Tomorrow STEM Scholars program. On Wednesday, Carolyn Cawley and Cheryl Oldham from USCCF joined parents, teachers, administrators, and business leaders to congratulate these 25 students and celebrate their achievement in becoming Achieving Tomorrow STEM Scholars.
USCCF’s Achieving Tomorrow STEM Scholars program, delivered in partnership with technology company Everfi, aims to teach students the critical skills they need in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. The program also inspires students to learn more about STEM and to consider pursuing careers in these areas.
Speaking to a room full of students, parents, grandparents, and teachers at the Spring Branch Middle School Library, Carolyn Cawley congratulated the students and spoke about the importance of STEM jobs for America’s future.
Cawley encouraged the students to fulfil their dreams, to become innovators, job creators and entrepreneurs, and to carry forward America’s rich history of exploration and innovation.
Tammy Wincup, COO of Everfi, also joined in congratulating the students and highlighting the importance of the Achieving Tomorrow STEM Scholars program in enabling students to explore new topics, areas of interest, and different career opportunities.
The Achieving Tomorrow STEM Scholars program helped the students, a mixed cohort from grades six through eight; learn about careers and opportunities they never knew existed. For John, becoming a STEM Scholar means he now understands binary code. For Payton, she now knows how STEM can help her pursue her dream of becoming a social media analyst.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of American high school seniors are proficient in math and even interested in STEM. That’s why the Achieving Tomorrow STEM Scholars program is critical to opening the eyes of students to all of the opportunities in STEM, from engineering to data analytics, chemistry to software design, and everything in between.
Brandee Smith, librarian and STEM teacher, handed out certificates to all of the students, and thanked the USCCF for the opportunity to deliver a program like this. For her, the greatest benefit of the program was seeing her students motivated and excited about learning.
USCCF is proud to have partnered with Everfi to bring Achieving Tomorrow STEM Scholars to Spring Branch Middle School and to be supporting the next generation of STEM leaders.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lucy Davidson is manager of programs for USCCF's Center for Education and Workforce.