2017 marks the ten year anniversary of the iPhone. Remember the ubiquitous Apple slogan from the iPhone's early days, “there’s an app for that”? Even though you may not have heard the slogan for a while, it is as true as it has ever been.
If you run in economic development circles, you know one of our biggest priorities today is talent: growing it, finding it, and keeping it. Our friends at the STEM Partners Foundation recently launched an awesome tool to help Utah educators connect with STEM practitioners: STEM MX (Mentor Exchange).
Simply put, STEM MX matches teachers with industry volunteers via an app. Think “Tinder” for STEM education. If you are interested in guest lecturing, helping with a science fair, or showing off your fancy new clean room or CNC machines to a school class, sign up for STEM MX and you will be paired with a teacher who can deploy your talent. Following the "if you can see it you can be it" logic, all the data suggests that if kids are exposed to STEM careers at the right age, they are more likely to pursue a STEM education. STEM MX is but one of many long-term STEM development initiatives underway in Utah to address what we know will be a growing need.
This idea is so cool! STEM practitioners give back through mentoring, our students gain real-world exposure to STEM careers, and our talent pipeline expands. Talk about a win-win-win. There are a couple of other things I love about STEM MX. Like many great things in Utah, it is a public-private partnership and an industry/education collaboration. Not only do we talk the P3 and collaboration talk, we walk the walk. I have to give a hat tip to the private businesses and educators who worked together to make this happen. Another thing I love about STEM MX is it is technologists solving a problem through technology. That’s what they do.
To learn more about STEM MX and to involve your company, check out the website: http://stemmx.com/
And now you see what I mean — there’s an app for that!