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  • A Moonshot for STEM

    Global STEM Alliance CEO Reuben Advani addresses the first GSA Summit in July

    Posted 11/14/2016

    On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy pledged that before the decade was out, the United States would land a man on the moon. It was a monumental undertaking, something mankind had dreamed of for thousands of years, and the nation answered his call. Hundreds of thousands of passionate individuals from the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, or what we now call STEM, combined their efforts, and on July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 became the first spacecraft to bring human beings to the surface of the moon. Today, our goals for STEM initiatives are less focused on transcending cosmic boundaries and more focused on solving fundamental problems here on earth. From food shortages to pandemics, conquering these challenges will require armies of innovators who have not only developed their talents in STEM, but have the opportunities to deploy them.

    As the new CEO of the Global STEM Alliance (GSA) at the New York Academy of Sciences, my team and I are focused on solving global problems by enhancing STEM reach across the globe. The GSA is a collaboration of students, scientists, and mentors—a supercharged network within the world's smartest network. We believe STEM is the backbone of innovation and that innovation solves problems. Across the globe, few can deny the need for STEM-enhanced education. And in regions where students receive adequate STEM training, the career opportunities in STEM may be lacking. We intend to solve these problems by enhancing STEM education where needed and creating opportunities for those with STEM backgrounds. Our goal is to construct a global community of STEM-prepared individuals capable of tackling global challenges.

    "The GSA is a collaboration of students, scientists, and mentors — a supercharged network within the world's smartest network. We believe STEM is the backbone of innovation and that innovation solves problems. Our goal is to construct a global community of STEM-prepared individuals capable of tackling global challenges."

    In only two years, the GSA has grown to an organization of 250 partners, including corporations, government agencies, NGOs, and educational institutions. We have more than 15,000 students in the GSA and currently work with scientists and industry leaders from fifty countries, each of whom offers time and resources to further our efforts. Our initiatives are truly global and are facilitated in a manner that connects students and mentors alike through our own proprietary, tech-based collaboration platform. To date, we have delivered more than 200,000 hours of STEM programming. And what comes next is even more exciting!

    Over the next few months, we plan to launch an ambitious STEM certification program which has the potential to become the global standard for STEM curricula across education verticals. We are currently expanding our program offerings through our successful Junior Academy with a new, ten week intensive STEM training program. We are working on expanding our content reach to other parts of the world through joint ventures with respected NGO's and education-focused companies. Lastly, we are developing ways to enhance and expand the reach of our digital content.

    As someone who founded and built an education company, I believe that I can apply similar principles from my business experiences to help the GSA reach its goals. The GSA's content and network have immense value and through these new initiatives, I plan to scale our STEM pipeline. With a dynamic team of talented individuals and laser focus, the GSA is on its way to achieving its goal of reaching one million students in 100 countries by 2020. I am looking forward to being a part of this effort to help mankind take its next giant leap, and I hope you will be by my side.

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    Reuben Advani
    CEO, The Global STEM Alliance

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