feature chevron Canada partners with let's talk science to promote STEM education
Almost 90 percent of Canadian parents believe they are the strongest influence on their children when it comes to them making decision about their education and post-secondary pathways.
Yet many parents are not exerting that influence when it comes to emphasizing the importance of science education with their kids, according to a report by Let's Talk Science, an award-winning, national charitable organization focused on education and outreach to support youth development.
In support of this critical issue, Chevron Canada has partnered with Let's Talk Science to engage parents, youth and educators on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and the opportunities it holds for rewarding future careers.
“Ultimately, Chevron Canada’s future success, and that of our industry, depends on having the right talent in place,” said Rod Maier, Chevron Canada’s manager of Policy, Government and Public Affairs.
“The purpose of investing in quality STEM programming is to engage more students in STEM, help build their awareness of all the career possibilities in their future, and ensure that educators have the confidence to deliver STEM material in an engaging way.”
STEM learning stats
A 2014 report by Let’s Talk Science http://www.letstalkscience.ca/spotlight, made possible by Amgen Canada, contains some eye-opening facts on the shape of STEM learning in Canada:
- Although 75 percent of Canadian parents think that most or all jobs of the future will require at least a basic understanding of math and science, and believe STEM education is valuable, the majority are not talking with their kids about pursuing STEM education.
- Only 28 percent of parents polled said they often discuss the value of taking optional science courses in high school with their children.
- 31 percent of Canadian parents think that science is a mandatory academic requirement through high school when, in fact, there is no Canadian jurisdiction that requires a Grade 12 science course as a graduation requirement.
- The report also found that while 64 percent of students believe science offers an interesting work environment, only 12 percent expressed a lot of interest in working in science-based jobs.
"It's essential that parents discuss how STEM education has value through high school, post-secondary plans and in any career," said Bonnie Schmidt, Ph.D., president and founder of Let's Talk Science. "That will help shape the decisions made by their children – decisions that have far-reaching implications for the prospects of Canada's teens and the country's future prosperity."
Chevron Canada's partnership with Let's Talk Science is focused on building career awareness for junior high and high school students. In the first phase, a cross-section of employees will be interviewed about their career paths, which will then be shared on CurioCity, Let's Talk Science’s free, web-based program filled with career content and exciting STEM resources.
The second phase of the partnership involves a school-based pilot in northern British Columbia, where Let's Talk Science, Chevron Canada and Shell Canada will be supporting two pilot schools with a variety of programs, training and resources, and completing rigorous measurement and evaluation to determine impacts of success for the students and educators.