Good teachers + good STEM education = a good economy

Inspiring students with good STEM education is essential to the economy.

Inspiring students with good STEM education is essential to the economy.

Do you remember having a special teacher in middle school or high school that really had a positive impact on you? I do. I had a teacher who made science really fun! From high school to college I remained interested in the sciences and graduated with a pharmacy degree. It’s those great teachers who have the most impact. 

GSK is involved in a great program that gives students in NC more opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Last week, three of us from GSK participated in a roundtable discussion sponsored by NC New Schools at their conference, Scaling STEM: Strategies That Engage Minds. This conference brought together 800 educators, innovators, students, and leaders from industry and government to plan for the future of our children and to share STEM learning strategies that can help motivate and inspire our students.        

There was a lot of interest in the GSK roundtables, and appreciation for the industry participation that is needed to grow and sustain the program. Our goal was to share the opportunities within our industry and discuss some of the “softer” skills that are valued by employers today that go beyond the science and math degrees: to inspire others, to work across boundaries in collaborative relationships based on trust and to live by our values.  Second and third graders are working on projects as a team, identifying gaps and coming up with solutions. Does that sound familiar? I wish I could have learned these skills earlier!

By providing these types of educational experiences early through STEM programs, we are going to prepare our students to be able to graduate from high school, attend college, find good jobs and bolster the economy. I am proud to be a part of this initiative and to work for a company that is willing to invest our people and our resources into our community, our children and our future.