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STEM Education

Sustaining Communities

GM worked alongside Girl Scouts of the USA to develop a series of Automotive Engineering Badges for elementary students. The program is now available to girls in every residential ZIP code in the U.S. and aims to strengthen the next generation of female leaders in automotive engineering, design and manufacturing.

General Motors works across the country to bring culturally responsive programs to youth who may not otherwise have robust STEM learning opportunities available to them.

We are helping youth from diverse communities develop a STEM identity and foundation in an effort to increase presence, persistence and achievement in STEM. Through investments in immersive learning, computational thinking, artificial intelligence and the digitization of education, GM is committed to equipping students from all backgrounds with future industry-relevant skills, accelerating the path to an equitable STEM talent pipeline.

Despite the promise of STEM careers, too few students are pursuing STEM-related education and degrees today. This has led to a looming talent gap for our future workforce. This gap exists at all levels of education, especially in the U.S. The most recent Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, for example, reports lagging scores for U.S. students as early as fourth grade. By high school, according to the Programme for International Student Assessment, the U.S. ranks 38th out of 71 countries in math ability, and 30th among the 35 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member countries.

1.4M
estimated individuals impacted by STEM education programs
in 2020.

We choose initiatives and partners using a research-based analysis of various challenges, such as teacher shortages, quality of teaching resources, high attrition rates for underrepresented minorities, low student engagement, and inequities and inequalities in STEM education. Given the strategic importance of STEM education to the long-term sustainability of our business, GM engaged with 72 nonprofit organizations across the U.S. in 2020 in an effort to:

  • Increase the number of students who earn a STEM degree that matches market needs.
  • Increase the presence, achievement and persistence of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.
  • Increase the supply of qualified teachers trained in STEM-related subjects.

Zero Barriers to STEM Learning

As we have all witnessed over the past year, students with disabilities, like those in other underserved populations, have been among the most disadvantaged by COVID-19 school closures. This is one reason GM has collaborated with the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) on a Zero Barriers in STEM Education Accessibility & Inclusion program. The program is focused on accessibility and inclusion in STEM education, especially for students with cognitive and physical disabilities and will help to ensure that all students, no matter their ability level, have access to high-quality STEM education.

SSEC formed a national advisory committee of experts who are working to develop first-of-their-kind guidelines for educators to deliver effective and accessible lessons in the classroom. The guidebook was released in Fall 2020 in a partnership with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) system. School administration and teachers from 12 DCPS middle schools participated in training sessions to equip them with these best practices and deliver high-quality, relevant STEM education that is accessible and inclusive to all learners.

The STEM programs we support fall into four emerging areas with the potential to drive transformative solutions. We call this model the STEM Impact Compass:

Immersive Learning

  • Hands-on experiences that encourage active participation and drive engagement.

Artificial Intelligence

  • Exploring artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technologies with the potential to facilitate teaching and learning.

Digitization

  • Using online and digital tools to transform how learning is delivered inside and outside the classroom.

Computational Thinking

  • Developing analytical, multidisciplinary skills like experimentation and problem solving.