In February, we blogged about our internship program, and we noted that, increasingly, schools just aren’t spending enough time providing students with the critical skills they need in math and science to prepare them for real-world jobs in areas such as advanced manufacturing.
So we would like to take this opportunity to promote an initiative that is working to remedy this problem. A group called the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics held educational activities throughout the United States in April to boost awareness among young people of the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM).
These efforts (in the form of special lectures, events, contests, and so forth in schools) focused on the “Mathematics of Sustainability” in order to “spotlight the role of mathematics in helping us balance human needs against the world’s resources while operating within the constraints of nature, while seeking creative solutions for a sustainable way of life.” It’s quite a mouthful, but we think it translates into reaching out to the next generation of Americans to emphasize how important it is to study hard not just for themselves but also for their communities — and even their world.
For example, in our own shop, we recently held an eight-week basic metalworking skills class in partnership with the Jane Addams Resource Corp. (JARC) for our newer employees. We taught math as it applies to manufacturing (introduction to statistical control, etc.). We have a joint partnership with JARC, and their instructors come out to our facility whenever we have enough new employees to run through the program (we had 12 this time).
Math Awareness Month is a worthy project, and we encourage our customers and friends to support it if they can — even if you just tweet about it. It’s something we all have a vested interest in.
Frankly, we think every month should be devoted to improving the skills of our present and future employees.