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Student changemaker Noah Tavares collaborates with GM engineers in roundtable breakout session.

Using Stem
Skills to
Make a
Difference

Not only does GM believe in the importance of training students in STEM skills, we’re excited about the potential for those skills to be used for social good. That’s why we’ve partnered with Ashoka to launch the General Motors STEM for Changemaking Challenge. The national challenge celebrates and rewards high school students with a passion for STEM who are using technology to make a difference in communities around the world. Ashoka is a nonprofit that supports some of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs and works to mobilize a global community to build a world where everyone is a changemaker.

The program was open to young people ages 14 to 18 interested in making positive change and bringing other people into the changemaker movement. Award finalists received access to a $30,000 Innovation Fund, an all-expenses paid trip to a two-day intensive Changemaker Movement Building Workshop hosted by GM and ongoing mentorship and skills development. At the workshop, the 25 finalists presented their projects and received feedback from panels of GM employees and leaders. Some of the finalists’ projects included:

  • GEARup4Youth – Offering robotics/programming classes to underprivileged girls at eight Boys and Girls Clubs
  • Human Projects – Applying engineering principles to empower young people to become leaders in human rights
  • Operation Sustain – Using technology to create engaging lessons on the basics of environmental education for youth
  • Stria Labs – Helping people face the challenges of visual impairment by harnessing the power of design engineering
  • HydroAlert – Combining ultrasonic sensors, IoT devices, the cloud and mobile technologies into an innovative flood warning system
  • STEM Matters – Inspiring underrepresented students through coding, 3-D printing classes and children’s books

GM leaders were proud to share our expertise and insights with these promising finalists. We look forward to seeing what each of these students does as they lead a new generation of problem solvers, innovators and changemakers.