GM Partners With Four New Nonprofits to Promote STEM Education
Today, GM CEO Mary Barra met with nonprofit leaders to introduce new and innovative programs meant to bring more young people into tech and engineering professions and improve teacher training in STEM-related subjects.
Barra said that automakers would need talented and diverse engineers in the future, particularly in the field of computer science, where women and minorities make up only a small percentage of working professionals. In America, just 18% of computer science majors and 10% of information security professionals are women.
“We’re in the midst of transforming how our customers get from point A to point B with technology like autonomous vehicles, connectivity, electrification and car sharing. By expanding and improving access to STEM education, we’re developing teachers’ and students’ capabilities—and it’s my hope those students become graduates who are equipped to join us in the technical fields required to lead in the future of mobility,” said Barra.
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In order to address various challenges, such as teacher shortages and high attrition rates for underrepresented minorities, GM developed programs in four emerging areas, which the automaker is calling its STEM Impact Compass. The four areas that GM focused on include immersive learning, computational thinking, artificial intelligence, and digitization of education.
“We need to remove the barriers and address the issues that are preventing young people from pursuing careers in technology and engineering,” said Hina Baloch, GM manager, Global Social Impact and STEM Education. “Our partners bring the innovative thinking we need to ignite more interest in STEM careers and improve STEM education.”
The four new partners and programs announced today are Code.org, which has enabled millions of young girls and minorities to learn how to code; Black Girls Code, which is working to increase the number of women of color in technology centers; Institute of Play, a New York City-based organization that provides professional development for middle and high school STEM teachers; and Digital Promise, which is developing an online micro-credential curriculum for teachers in computational thinking.
By the end of 2017, GM will also have committed more than $10 million to advance and improve STEM education, in addition to the programs announced today.
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