STEM Beats - Commitment to Excellence

CTEq Celebrates Four STEMtastic Years!

September 16, 2014

Today is the fourth anniversary of Change the Equation’s launch and we’ve got a lot to celebrate.

Since 2010, CTEq member companies have been working alongside us to improve STEM literacy across the country.  Here are a few of our exciting milestones:

  • Business leaders across a variety of industries answered President Obama’s call-to-action to create opportunities in STEM for students and challenge the status quo of U.S. math and science standards.  Read more about our history and our coalition.
  • This year, 26 CTEq member companies doubled-down on their support for STEM by pledging their Commitment to Excellence. The charter signatories to the Commitment have vowed to: mobilize in new, more effective ways to advance STEM literacy, advocate for higher achievement standards, utilize STEM data to inform policy and philanthropy decision-making, and support exemplary STEM programs that yield results.  Read more about the Commitment to Excellence and its charter signatories.
  • Understanding the importance of ROI, CTEq members collaborated to create the Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy, a guide to determining the best investments in STEM programming.  After an independent evaluation process, the first class of outstanding STEMworks programs was introduced, and the list keeps growing.  Get familiar with our STEMworks database.
  • In order to better serve schools and students in their communities, as well as at-large, CTEq members developed Vital Signs, the source for the most comprehensive state-by-state assessment of STEM topics, including: supply of and demand for STEM skills, standards for student achievement, and access for minority and low-income students to opportunities in STEM.  Read about how your state’s Vital Signs stack up.

It’s been a busy four years for Change the Equation and our members!  And while we’re excited to share CTEq’s accomplishments, we’re not done yet.  We still have a long way to go until every young person in the U.S. has a strong foundation in STEM, but we know that our coalition of corporate leadership is equal to the task. We can’t wait for all that’s to come!

Leave a comment or send a tweet and tell us your favorite CTEq accomplishment so far – and what you want to see us do next!

Tags: Commitment to Excellence, Vital Signs, STEMworks

Motorola Solutions Awards $4M for STEM!

September 5, 2014

This week, CTEq member Motorola Solutions announced the awardees of its Innovation Generation grants for 2014.  The total funding to the 92 STEM-supporting organizations amounts to a whopping $4 million!  What's more, the list of national and local partnership grant recipients includes five STEMworks programs: Girlstart, Science Buddies, STEM Equity Pipeline, Techbridge, and Ten80 Student Racing Challenge.  

As a Commitment to Excellence Charter Signatory, Motorola Solutions has pledged to support effective STEM education programs like those in STEMworks that both foster STEM literacy and offer students a chance to explore what a future STEM career path has to offer.

Matt Blakely, director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation puts it best: "Organizations awarded these grants are teaching tomorrow's workforce that careers in engineering and technology are not only fun, but also within their reach."

We applaud Motorola Solutions for this incredible contribution to elevating STEM literacy for K-12 students and look forward to seeing great work unfold at these organizations in the coming year!

Tags: Commitment to Excellence, STEMworks

Photos from our National STEM Summit

June 12, 2014

Check out the photos from the National STEM Summit and launch of the Commitment to Excellence!

Last month, CTEq members and STEMworks programs gathered in Arlington, Va to discuss their roles in helping students to both achieve and sustain STEM literacy.  The program featured sessions on the business stake in K-12 STEM education, how to sustain positive changes in the state of STEM through effective programming, and a keynote address from Vice President Joe Biden. 

We also kicked off the new Commitment to Excellence in STEM initiative and celebrated its charter signatories.  Check out all of the event pictures on our Facebook page!

Tags: Commitment to Excellence

To Infinity and Beyond

May 28, 2014

Last week, we learned that rocket science isn’t rocket science. That is, it is not an abstract, narrow field reserved for an elite group of devoted brainiacs who don’t get out much. Quite the opposite: it’s one of the coolest fields there is.

How do we know? CTEq was invited to spend much of last week rubbing shoulders with rocket scientists—a.k.a. “aerospace engineers”—at the 30th annual Space Symposium in lovely Colorado Springs. CTEq member company and Commitment to Excellence Signatory United Launch Alliance (ULA), which sends more satellites into space than any other American company—more than one a month this year alone, invited us to attend as their special guest. The event as an eye-opener for us, and everyone we met there made clear, they’re having a lot of fun doing it.

It’s not hard to see why. After all, it is ULA that launched the Mars Rover into space, and the satellites they send into orbit bring us our GPS, television signals, critical data about our natural resources, and many other things besides. ULA engineers are constantly devising new ways of breaking boundaries in space travel. One told me how ULA and a company that makes race car engines were collaborating to design revolutionary new rockets that go much farther on less fuel.

What’s more, space might travel might come within reach for many more people in the decades ahead. Companies and even metropolitan airports are working together to make commercial space flight a reality.  At $250,000 a pop, the cost of a ticket is a tad steep these days, but the day may come when flying into orbit might be every bit as easy as flying to Orlando.

All this could spell opportunity for enterprising young people in search of exciting careers. Many other companies are space business, including CTEq members like The Aerospace Corporation, Boeing, BAE Systems, and even Booz Allen Hamilton. Yet the aerospace industry remains the province of mostly white men: roughly 25 percent of aerospace employees are female, and about the same share are Black or Latino. As white men dwindle as a share of the population, and more rocket scientists edge towards retirement, that’s hardly a strong recipe for the future.

One of CTEq’s founding Board members was Sally Ride, whose early dreams of space made her a pioneer in space flight and one of the nation’s most passionate advocates for getting many more young people hooked on STEM. Her message could hardly be more timely.  As impressed as we were with the Space Symposium, we can't wait to see what's next -- and the new generation of aerospace engineers who will bring it to fruition.

Tags: engineering, Commitment to Excellence

CTEq Members Announce Commitment to STEM Excellence

May 21, 2014

Needless to say, things have been very exciting around CTEq during the past few weeks!  Aside from the launch of our redesigned website and our National STEM Summit, we've got another huge development that we're thrilled to announce: the Commitment to Excellence in STEM.

At launch, twenty-six companies became Charter Signatories to the Commitment to Excellence, a reaffirmation of the promise they made when joining CTEq: to help ensure that every U.S. high school graduate is STEM literate and on the path to a productive career.  These corporate leaders have united to advocate for high-quality STEM opportunities for all students.

The Commitment, the first of its kind, has four core beliefs:

The belief that the corporate community can mobilize in new and more effective ways to advance STEM literacy.
Together, companies can have more impact as a collaborative force than they could alone.

The belief in the transformative power of higher standards for STEM education in the U.S.
Signatories believe in and advocate for a high bar in math and science so we can maintain our innovative edge.

The belief that data should inform STEM advocacy at the state-level.
Signatories are using data like in Vital Signs to promote STEM policies and practices that have significant impact. 

The belief in data-driven corporate philanthropy that funds STEM programs that work.
Signatories will use resources like STEMworks to ensure that CSR is effective in helping all students graduate with STEM life skills.

The Commitment was announced during last week’s National STEM Summit, and featured a keynote address from Vice President Joe Biden.

In his remarks, Vice President Biden reiterated that "educating our young people is the most critical responsibility we have as a nation."  Through the Commitment, Signatories have solidified their dedication to CTEq’s mission and made STEM literacy a business priority.  Representatives from the companies rallied support around last week's launch and helped to spread the crucial message about strengthening STEM literacy.

Visit the Commitment to Excellence section of our website to learn more.  Also, follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #Commit2STEM and let us know what you think in the comments. Are you a member company who’d like to sign on?  Contact us!

Charter Signatories to the Commitment include:

CA Technologies
Carolina Biological Supply Company
Dow Chemical
Exxon Mobil Corporation
Hitachi High Technologies America, Inc.
Intel Corporation
LMI Aerospace, Inc.
Motorola Solutions
PASCO Scientific
Sally Ride Science, Inc.
State Farm
Texas Instruments
The MITRE Corporation
Time Warner Cable
United Launch Alliance
Valen Analytics
Xerox Corporation

Tags: Commitment to Excellence, video