STEM in Sustainability

When it comes to growing the next generation of leaders, we must consider those children and young adults who will pursue careers in STEM. They will lead the largest corporations and carry the burden of making decisions within their companies that will affect the future of our planet. 

When we equip our nation’s youth with the right information and training, they are prepared to face environmental challenges — of today and of the future — and blaze new trails in sustainability for our planet.

STEM Mentor Program

Mender recently attended and sponsored Technology Ball, presented by Tech Allies. The STEM Mentor Program particularly caught our attention. So much so that our CEO, Kent Taggart, became a STEM mentor himself. The program was developed with University of Texas at Dallas, and provides meaningful skills, opportunities and life experiences to STEM leaders of the future.

Supporting STEM Students

The program got us thinking: How can we (and you) support young people in STEM? 

  1. Hold high expectations in STEM for the students in your life. Encourage and expect the students in your life to work hard in STEM. Support their pursuit of these subjects, show confidence in their effort and help them set attainable and measurable goals. 
  2. Build positive and constructive connotations about STEM. Help them to believe that liking and excelling in STEM is both acceptable and desirable. Point out successful historical and contemporary leaders in STEM. Try not to make comments about how difficult or undesirable you may find a STEM subject. The goal is to help build their confidence and their desire to be involved. 
  3. Maintain a great attitude about STEM. While the focus is on nurturing students’ love for STEM, the best way to lead is by example. Don’t be afraid to learn more about STEM yourself and hone your own skills to help your child become more involved. 
  4. Provide STEM materials and opportunities. Christmas is coming soon and you can shop with STEM in mind by providing chemistry sets, LEGO robotics, math oriented games and more. STEM materials can be placed in a neutral location in the home spaces. Additionally, provide opportunities for the students in your life to be exposed to STEM in new ways and environments such as after school programs, computer clubs, math camps, coding classes and more. 
  5. Promote good learning practices while doing STEM activities. Focus on thinking-oriented and investigative tasks, memory games and practice, and make it applicable and relatable. You can have your student ask: How can we determine the amount of paint we would need to paint the exterior of our home? Compare and contrast subscription services based on cost and offerings. Anything can be a STEM problem ripe for solving. 
  6. Interact and participate in STEM material. Teach your children what you know and allow them to show you things they have learned along the way. Solve problems together in a positive way that will show your student how exciting STEM can be. 
  7. Relate every day problems and solutions back to STEM. Be it your family budget, building a Lego structure, measuring ingredients and more .
  8. Build an active, ongoing relationship with your child’s school teacher and keep them informed on what your focuses and positive experience in STEM have been at home so they can keep it going in the classroom. 

STEM for the Future

STEM research will ultimately drive advancements in environmental sustainability. STEM leaders of tomorrow will explore and discover new ways to mitigate climate change, conserve natural resources, protect ecosystems and more. By fostering the future of STEM, we foster the future of our planet.