STEM Beats - STEM Salon

STEMtistics on Display: Solving the Diversity Dilemma

March 6, 2015

We’re back with an eye-opening batch of STEMtistics! This latest set come from our most recent Vital Signs brief, Solving thEM data that are easy to use and share, be sure to dive into our full set of STEMtistics.


e Diversity Dilemma. We examined the data in the brief at our recent STEM Salon, with panelists from CTEq members Northrop Grumman and Booz Allen Hamilton. 

You can make use of these images to illustrate the diversity dilemma and check out the brief for ideas on how to solve it. And for more great facts on all sorts of ST

Tags: STEMtistics, Vital Signs, jobs & workforce, minorities, women & girls, STEM Salon

Inspiring the Next Generation of STEMthusiasts

March 4, 2015

Last week we saw this article proposing an awards show that spotlights scientists in a way that’s as big as the Oscars. The author argues for a science awards show grand in stature, which would present awards to the top five to 10 breakthroughs in science. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? We thought so too.  But the reality is that it’s unlikely an award show will be enough to inspire young people about STEM. In fact, the Academy Awards ratings indicate difficulty attracting young viewers to even the Oscars. This article in Variety noted that, “If most [young] people haven’t heard of the nominees, they aren’t going to watch, and the business will lose more young viewers to indifference, because TV and video games are engaging them in a way that movies aren’t.” 

So what’s the solution? We’ve got to focus our efforts on building a strong foundation by fostering interest in STEM at a young age. Young people should be exposed to STEM earlier and in a variety of ways, from proven STEMworks and other high-quality programs to other more grassroots kinds of opportunities. Effectively collaborating with community organizations to help gain interest in STEM has been a major shortcoming. At our February STEM Salon announcing our recent Vital Signs brief, Sandra Evers Manly, vice president for Global Corporate Responsibility at CTEq member company Northrop Grumman Corporation, emphasized the importance of not overlooking grassroots programs, “Often times because it may not be pretty and packaged well, we tend to turn away and say this is not a successful program. But I can follow students through Northrop Grumman who started in SEEK, who then became a part of the NSBE chapters on college campuses, and who are now part of our company.”

Every day, CTEq members invest in strategies that will build the workforce of tomorrow in the communities where its employees live and work:

  • Dow recently announced a new partnership with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a STEMworks program, to fund it in 17 schools and reach 14,000 more students as a result;
  • Microsoft has partnered with the Global Girls Collaborative Project and Iron Way Films to produce the Big Dream, a film that follows seven diverse young women as they face obstacles to challenge the STEM status quo; and
  • Cognizant announced that it is awarding 34 grants to afterschool, in-school, and summer programs at 54 sites across the U.S. through its ‘Making the Future’ education initiative.

Maybe an Academy Awards for STEM isn’t the solution, but shining a spotlight on the good commitments of Corporate America and promoting strong STEM programs will go a long way to inspiring young people. As CTEq continues to march toward our goal of reaching 1.5 million more young people with high-quality STEM experiences in 2015, we have to be both dynamic and realistic in our approach. For more on inspiring young people in STEM, check out the video from our STEM Salon, below.

Tags: STEM Salon, Vital Signs, video

Engineers Week STEM Salon on Capitol Hill

February 21, 2014

National Engineers Week 2014 may be coming to an end, but we're still energized by our recent STEM Salon on Capitol Hill! In coordination with our latest data release, Engineering Emergency: African Americans and Hispanics Still Lack Pathways to Engineering, CTEq hosted guests for a discussion about the challenges and solutions to encouraging minority students to explore engineering career opportunities.  The panel for this event included Gayle Gibson of CTEq coalition member company DuPont, former astronaut Robert Curbeam Jr. of Raytheon, and Yannis Miaoulis from the Museum of Science, Boston.

This engaging discussion touched on topics like the shortage of U.S. engineering talent, the wide applicability of engineering skills and training, and the barriers that keep minority students from pursuing careers in the field.  The panelists also shared the experiences that sparked their own interests in engineering and how their organizations are working to inspire the next generation of engineers.  Check out the video of this great conversation:



Make sure to check out the rest of this week's festivities and continue to follow along on social media using the #EWeek2014 hashtag.  With all of the enthusiasm surrounding E Week, we here at CTEq are hopeful that, with the right resources, access, and opportunities, the future looks bright for all kids who decide to turn their curiosity of the world around them into a successful career in engineering!


Change the Equation thanks its sponsors for their support
of the Engineers Week STEM Salon on Capitol Hill

E Week Sponsors

Tags: engineering, Vital Signs, STEM Salon, video

December STEM Salon: Bridging the Gender Gap in Computer Science

December 16, 2013

Dec STEM Salon

In this month's STEM Salon, our panel discussed the alarming state of women and girls in computer science.  Change the Equation's newest Vital Signs brief, Half Empty: As Men Surge Back into Computing, Women Are Left Behind points out the sizable gender gap in computing and illustrates the dire need for an increased flow of talent through the pipeline in order to meet current and future demand.

Panelists Kimberly Bryant (Black Girls Code), and CTEq members Allyson Knox (Microsoft), and Alison Derbenwick Miller (Oracle) tackled this issue, examining its causes and outlining ways in which the gap can be surmounted. 

Check out the discussion below and make sure to join us for more STEM Salons in 2014!


Tags: STEM Salon, computer science, video, Vital Signs

Join us at our STEM Salon

January 15, 2013

Next week's going to be a busy one in Washington, but here's another you shouldn't miss: Our STEM Salon on outcomes in afterschool programming, held on Jan. 23.

We'll be discussing the Afterschool Alliance's newest report, "Defining Youth Outcomes for STEM Learning in Afterschool," to be released that day. On the panel, we'll be joined by Anita Krishnamurthi, director of STEM policy for the Afterschool Alliance and project lead on the report; Ron Ottinger, executive director of the Noyce Foundation and a funder of the report; and Mark Greenlaw, vice president of sustainability and education affairs at Cognizant, which runs the afterschool program Making the Future.

Afterschool programming has increasingly become an outlet for millions of American children, and afterschool providers, when asking for funding, are being asked to define and defend their value. The Alliance's report looks at what kind of outcomes afterschool programming is best suited to deliver in STEM. For anyone interested in improving outcomes in math and science, the use of afterschool programming is crucial. Our discussion will be can't-miss, and we hope to see you there! 

Tags: STEM Salon