Sparking students’ interest in science and math is a team sport. We make a greater impact through collaboration – when educators, businesses and the nonprofit community come together to offer unique perspectives and tools.
It’s no secret our economy needs more STEM-savvy new professionals and that businesses like GM want to foster and attract them. Our part as GM employees and leaders is to serve as mentors; real-life examples of how applying these classroom principles can result in a rewarding, exciting career.
In addition, when we enable our employees to get out of the office and don some waders for a watershed monitoring program, we see workplace satisfaction go up as a result of contributing to a larger mission.
This is what we do as part of our GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network) initiative. For 24 years running, this program enables us to share our environmental knowledge in resource preservation by working with 8,500 students annually on how our community actions affect local watersheds. The program, facilitated by the nonprofit Earth Force, has steadily grown over the years. All of our U.S. facilities now take part.
We couldn’t do it without the engagement of passionate educators and the 20 community organizations that help build these hands-on service-learning activities in areas where we work. We provide the central coordination and resources to empower our staff members to develop relationships and grow the program within their city.
We’re seeing positive results: 98 percent of teachers say they’d recommend the program to other educators and 79 percent of students report a better understanding of environmental issues after participating.
GREEN is one of our many STEM advocacy programs and we continue to expand it as we go. Given our experience, we’re sharing best practices at an upcoming STEM conference in Charleston called Next Steps Institute and look forward to conversations on how together we can continue to influence the next generation of leaders.