Intel is proud of its strong legacy of supporting and nurturing America’s brightest young minds. Over the past decade, we have invested more than $1 billion in education programs around the world, including the Science Talent Search (STS), a program from the Society for Science & the Public (SSP) that is the nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. This week, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of STS and the announcement of this year’s winners.
We are proud of our STS sponsorship, which is now ending. However, as a company we continue to be concerned about the widening opportunity gap among our nation’s youth and realized that too often the formality and rigor of STEM programs, including STS, are not broadly accessible for all youth. By not tapping into students of all backgrounds and not going to the places where our help is most needed, we are not allowing our nation to be fully competitive in STEM.
In the future, we will continue to invest and expand our overall support of STEM education, participation and future innovation by providing more opportunities for our nation’s youth and grassroots STEM enthusiasts to participate. Our decision reflects our desire to drive lasting social impact and to engage as many young people as possible to pursue careers in technology by supporting activities that inspire them as well as develop their interests in science and math.
We are in the process of exploring a range of new initiatives that take advantage of the changing relationship between young people and technology. Recent years have seen the rise of new, informal networks that celebrate and inspire creativity and invention, such as Maker Faires and hackathons. These new forums not only give students hands-on experience with coding and engineering, they provide them with the tools and training to use technology to make their lives better. We will also partner with communities and schools such as our initiative with the Oakland Unified School District program to create computer science and engineering pathways for students that will lead to rewarding careers.
This approach to inspiring invention, creativity and innovation is consistent with Intel’s own roots, and will provide us the opportunity to have a greater impact at the local and community level. We will be able to focus our efforts more directly on encouraging all young people, especially girls and underrepresented minorities, to become leaders in the industries of the future.
While we are excited to unveil more about our new direction later this year, we look forward to celebrating the 40 STS student finalists this week, applauding their brilliance and sharing their creativity with the world.