NEW YORK, March 29, 2017 – While the 21st century workplace is being transformed by a technological revolution our educational system is largely unprepared to help students meet these new requirements. To remedy this issue the New York Academy of Sciences Global STEM Alliance and JA (Junior Achievement) Worldwide are sponsoring the Global Youth STEM Challenge. After the initial pilot period both the Academy and JA hope to scale up their programs through their respective networks and prepare to jointly introduce science and business to an entire generation of students.
Using the expertise and networks of both the Academy and JA the Global Youth STEM Challenge will prepare students to pursue STEM careers, while filling the gaps that exist between their technical knowledge and soft skills to ensure success in their future workplace. The partnership will seek to remedy the paradox of STEM students who have the technical skills to excel in the 21st century workplace, but lack the “soft” interpersonal, communications, and business skills to succeed in the modern workplace.
Through a series of competitive challenges that will require the application of STEM concepts, students will learn firsthand how to develop a business acumen that can solve real world problems. The most innovative students will have the opportunity to collaborate virtually with peers and mentors in science and business. As leaders in their fields, mentors will guide students with their accumulated expertise and personal experience. Some of the students will have the potential to receive seed money for solutions to pressing issues.
The Academy and JA will pilot the program over the next 18 months with 2,000 students in more than 10 countries who will initially take part in a STEM skill-building boot camp and in-person challenge. From this pool, 350 (two to three teams per classroom) will be selected to move to the online semi-finals, where they will receive mentoring advice and instructions to develop a solid business plan that will help their prototypes come to fruition. Finally the top 10 teams (50 students) will join a “Virtual Incubator” where they will prepare their ideas for early stage seed funding.
The potential scale of this program is as unlimited as the potential of its students. During the 21st century the Global Youth STEM Challenge is the place where science and business will meet.
About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With 25,000 members around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org.
About JA Worldwide
JA Worldwide is one of the largest global NGOs dedicated to addressing fundamental social and economic challenges of young people by educating and empowering them to transform their futures and own their economic success. Through the delivery of cutting-edge, experiential learning in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship, we effectively broaden the canvas of possibility for young people and enrich their ability to both engage in their own economic development and contribute to the strength of their families, communities, and economies. With more than 100 member countries, the JA Worldwide network is powered by over 470,000 volunteers and mentors from all sectors of society, reaching more than 10 million young people around the world every year. Visit jaworldwide.org for more information.