Good news! There are more opportunities for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) specialists than ever before. Young people majoring in STEM subjects today have a very real chance of applying their skills in world-changing opportunities. Here’s the bad news. There’s not enough of them. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) estimates there will be one million fewer STEM graduates over the next decade than U.S. industries will need.
Samsung wanted to help fill this gap.
Finding the Right Audience
In order to gauge where we could make the most impact, we conducted primary and secondary research, and uncovered three underserved groups.
- Women, who currently represent 50% of the US labor force but hold less than 25% of STEM jobs
- Over 6 million urban young adults out of work, school, and without access to the economic mainstream
- Over 60% of college students who intend to major in a STEM field and then do not complete a STEM degree
These groups are diverse, but they shared a common belief: there are too many barriers to pursue STEM education.
How do you combat lack of awareness and the perceived inaccessibility of STEM among three different audiences?
Make the conversation about them. Focus on their potential, not the STEM skills gap.
Help the people who create technology, not just create technology that helps people.
Girls Who Code
We collaborated with Girls Who Code, a national non-profit focused on solving the gender parity gap by supporting young females across the country, to develop a custom Samsung Mobile App Challenge. We created a microsite that hosted challenge details and an informational video and promoted the program through an email campaign and announcement package.
Year Up is a national non-profit focused on addressing the country’s talent gap by providing support to urban young adults. We developed a coding-specific curriculum for Year Up students across the nation. Exclusively sponsoring a STEM-focused Learning Community in Year Up’s Puget Sound location, we designed an interactive experience in the Learning Community to inspire and educate students. The experience included on-site branded materials, partnership announcement packages, and Samsung product. We also helped Year Up develop a nationwide curriculum to teach students the basics to software engineering and coding.
We implemented a multi-market mobile learning classroom to combat the STEM dropout rate in community colleges. Samsung Mobile U provided an innovative learning platform to educate and encourage students to enroll in STEM-related programs at their community college. We developed a three-level customized curriculum to introduce the fundamentals of programming to students.
To drive student traffic to the on-site experience, we used many different forms of campus messaging: media advisories, posters/flyers, email campaigns, and social media. We additionally made a microsite to provide a centralized location for students to view the official Samsung Mobile U video, pre-register for courses, and to submit a technological concept to the Samsung Mobile U Scholarship Contest.
It’s almost impossible to immediately measure the impact of inspiration. We do know that over 120 STEM students were trained, which will fill over 100 jobs.
And 3000 Girls Who Code students were trained in over 150 Girls Who Code Clubs, that are supported by Samsung and their Technology.
We know that Samsung helped close the education gap in 2014’helping people create technology, not just creating technology that helps people.