San Diego, CA, January 25, 2014—As part of an ongoing mission to connect students to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), Sally Ride Science will be taking part in the Million Women Mentors (MWM) initiative, which is designed to unite more than 1 million girls and young women with STEM professionals and leaders.
“Being part of the MWM initiative fits right in with our mission to give students greater access to STEM careers,” says Sally Ride Science CEO Sheryle Bolton. “Women constitute more than 50% of the workforce, but hold less than 25% of the STEM jobs. STEM fields offer some of the best economic and career opportunities in our economy, and we want young girls to understand that they can be part of that.”
In support of MWM, the Sally Ride Science agenda for the coming year will include educator trainings (online and in-person), the launch of a new multi-media virtual mentoring platform, and new site license offerings that will provide convenient access to Sally Ride Science eBooks and professional development.
Company mentoring initiatives planned for 2014 include:
- Professional Development for STEM Mentoring: Sally Ride Science will be increasing professional development offerings in 2014, building on content developed during the Company’s longstanding partnership with ExxonMobil, which has equipped nearly 10,000 educators with the tools and techniques required to reach almost 1 million students in the benefits of pursuing careers in STEM. New offerings from the Sally Ride Online Academy will help even more teachers connect classroom work to STEM careers, and provide diverse role models to encourage girls and other students to consider STEM fields.
- Award for Innovation: Teachers can be the most important mentors for girls interested in STEM fields and careers, and this year—with support from a leading global professional services firm—Sally Ride Science will present cash awards for innovations in STEM teaching, particularly for innovations targeting girls and underserved minorities in grades 4-8.
- Events: The faculty and executive team from Sally Ride Science will be traversing the country, taking part in numerous events as keynote speakers, presenters, exhibitors, and trainers. Events in coming months include:
- “Ignite Student Interest in STEM,” January 25, Spanish Fort, AL. A Sally Ride Science professional development event for educators (partnering with the Office of Naval Research).
- The 20th Annual Space Exploration Educators Conference, February 6-8, Houston, TX. Sally Ride Science Faculty member Leesa Hubbard will be running a workshop.
- NSTA National Conference, April 3-6, Boston, MA. The company will be exhibiting, with executive staff on-hand to meet science teachers and students.
- U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference, April 23-25, Washington, D.C. The company will be exhibiting as more than 2,000 STEM leaders gather to help shape the future of STEM education.
- USA Science & Engineering Festival, April 25-27, Washington, D.C. Sally Ride Science will be both exhibiting AND conducting a one-day training at this event (contact Sally Ride Science for early bird registration or for details).
- Virtual Mentoring: This winter will see the debut of Sally Ride Career Cues, a new web tool to collect and present videos by STEM professionals providing details on their work, why they enjoy it, and why it matters. These short, searchable personal stories and testimonials from diverse STEM professionals can augment the curriculum with real-life examples of how classroom learning can be applied in rewarding careers.
- School- and District-Wide Licensing: The Company will also be making available site licensing packages for both its science and career eBooks and its professional development programs that will help educators better connect students to careers in STEM. The Cool Careers series of eBooks on the Kno for Schools platform, for example, connects students to diverse examples of interesting careers, while the Key Concept eBooks introduce students to the big ideas in science that have driven so many rewarding careers.
According to STEMConnector, over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs has been three times greater than that of non-STEM jobs. Yet even though 75% of all college students are women or students of color, they represent only 45% of STEM degrees earned each year.
“Everything we do is centered on connecting students to career paths in STEM, providing students with the same type of examples and instruction that a mentor often provides,” says Bolton. “Through our professional development, classroom resources, and events, we hope to serve students who may lack access to helpful mentoring and empower teachers with more mentoring tools.”
About Million Women Mentors
Million Women Mentors is a collective national campaign and program with the purpose of captivating one million mentors to link with one million girls and young professionals for their STEM careers. Through its efforts, MWM works to showcase existing best practices and suggestions for the future. The program is a collective effort of MWM founding partners, including 35 non-profits and major corporations, and will also reach government agencies. MWM is an initiative of STEMconnector, an organization that works closely with corporations and other organizations to assist in corporate development, corporate structure, and smart STEM investments.
About Sally Ride Science
Sally Ride Science, founded by Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, provides college and career readiness training and tools to build students’ passion for STEM fields and help teachers incorporate engaging career-focused approaches into their existing instruction . Sally Ride Science administers the Sally Ride Science Academy Brought to You by ExxonMobil, a professional development program for educators in Grades 4-8, the Sally Ride Online Academy, an online professional development program open to all educators, STEM Central, a web-based searchable database of online resources for STEM topics and careers, and Sally Ride EarthKAM, a unique NASA-backed educational outreach program enabling students, teachers, and the public to learn about Earth from the unique perspective of space.