Growing up the 3R’s were Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. When looking for an image for this blog I realized that the current 3R’s are Recycle, Reuse and Reduce. Those make more sense than original but for sake of this discussion let’s say that Reading, Writing and Arithmetic are the 3R’s. You may have also heard of STEM. Whew, that’s a lot of acronyms in one paragraph.
Last week a friend of ours posted on her Facebook that she was at her Alma Mater speaking on STEM. So what is STEM and how does it relate to Reshoring?
STEM is an initiative geared toward making careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics more attractive. Although the U.S. currently leads the world in innovation and technology it is slowly losing ground to countries such as China and India. In order to maintain our lead in innovation, the U.S. government, universities and high tech companies started a STEM initiative including significant funding for STEM programs. With this funding, schools have made science “cool” again. Middle schools now offer classes in building robots, 3D printing and programming. High tech companies have been holding “hackathons” where twelve year olds are entering and selling their programs for millions of dollars.
Recently, University of California – Berkeley sponsored a hackathon for the local nonprofits. They asked, “What problem can we solve for you?” Basically – how can we help make your life easier? What a phenomenal question! Essentially that is what UC-Berkeley is doing – helping nonprofits but also giving students an opportunity to learn. They are not only learning the programming skills but also problem solving and potentially how these concepts can be leveraged in a future business environment
STEM is needed for the U.S. to continue to lead in innovation but it’s also needed for sustainability. In an earlier blog we talked about making manufacturing “sexy” for the next generation. STEM will make science cool and manufacturing sexy!