“Increasing access to education and training in the STEM fields is a business imperative for Symantec. The challenges we face today will pale in comparison to the challenges of tomorrow, and the demand for cybersecurity professionals is growing with every report of a data breach. Our work with the Change the Equation program and other partners will help to extend learning in the STEM fields and, in turn, help to build a future employee base that is equipped to build and protect the complex connected world of tomorrow.” 

- Mike Brown, Interim President and CEO

Why is your company signing the Commitment to Excellence?

As cybersecurity issues become more prominent, the need for STEM-trained/educated future leaders that are ready to help solve future cybersecurity problems is increasing. Currently, there are not enough STEM-educated people to service the needs of today, even less to serve the needs of tomorrow. By signing the Commitment to Excellence, Symantec is aiming to build on the work we have done with the Change the Equation program since 2010 and continue to engage students in STEM at a young age and increase access to career training for our future cybercrime fighters. 

What are your company’s specific PreK-12 STEM interests (e.g. computer programming, robotics, engineering, etc.)?

Only 45 percent of U.S. high school graduates in 2011 were ready for college work in math, and 30 percent were ready in science. At Symantec we see providing STEM and literacy education to children and young adults as a business imperative in order to build a diversified and innovative workforce for the future. We specifically look to build programs focused on computer programming, teacher recruitment and training and afterschool education. 

What PreK-12 STEM programs, particularly those contained in STEMworks, does your company support?

Symantec is a longtime supporter of Science Buddies, offering a unique hands-on educational experience to develop students’ literacy in science and technology. A recent grant supports the development and refinement of the CURPI (Computers Unmasked: Raspberry Pi Inventors) kit. This kit offers students in grades 6-12 a hands-on, tangible  way to learn computer science. Symantec and Science Buddies’ are committed to introducing boys and girls to topics such as computer animation, search engines, wireless technology, image compression, programming languages, encryption and cyber security.

Symantec partnered with WAGGGS, the largest voluntary movement dedicated to girls and young women in the world, to develop Surf Smart, an online safety education resource, which provides skills and tools for young people to identify online risks and safeguards, understand online ethics and recognize the wider impact of their own actions and other people’s actions online.

Please share ways in which your company collaborates with state/local organizations or other companies around STEM learning.

Symantec partners with the Boys and Girls Club of America to increase STEM programming to underserved student populations. Programs empower Clubs to increase engagement with youth who have the potential to become future leaders in STEM. STEM programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs are part of their after school enrichment program, where students can take a STEM class as an elective.

Symantec also has a long-standing relationship with Teach for America. Recently, we announced that Symantec would be contributing a $500,000 grant over the next two years to support the work of TFA’s STEM recruitment, with a more direct focus on recruiting diverse STEM educators to help reach students who are underrepresented in the engineering profession – whether because of their geography, skin color, or income status.