It’s National STEM Day in the U.S. We celebrate year-round.

By November 8, 2021

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. They were never my personal strong suits but now, they’ve become passions. Every day, in my job managing Waters global philanthropy programs, I find ways to share these four fields of STEM to students around the world who would otherwise not have the opportunity to explore them. What’s more is that I’m not the only one at Waters dedicated to sharing and spreading the virtues of a STEM education When COVID-19 required schools around the world to shut down, our scientists created STEM Live videos for parents who were suddenly required to take over educating their children at home. More recently, we had over 70 employees create and successfully implement a pilot for underserved high school students interested in the “business of science”. Expanding student interest in these fields is at the core of what we do as part of our philanthropic efforts.

STEM is a Pillar of Waters’ Philanthropy

At Waters, we invest in future talent by increasing access to STEM education for elementary, middle, and high school students with a special focus on supporting minorities and women in STEM. Sharing our passion for STEM and providing opportunities for youth to explore these fields is an important pillar of our philanthropic efforts.

In all our work in this area, we aim to roll up our sleeves, create, and participate in immersive learning experiences, and inspire underrepresented and underserved populations with our passions for science, innovation, and curiosity – what we value most at Waters. If you haven’t already read about the one-of-a-kind program we created with Team New England and Jeremiah Burke High School, check it out. The program combined mentoring, education, business, and science to spark students’ interest and shed light on the possibilities their futures hold.

Two New STEM Partnerships We’re Proud Of

This year, Waters partnered with The University of Edinburgh and the MIT Media Lab to bring STEM education to students in underserved areas of Scotland and Boston.

The University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Science Outreach Centre (EBSOC) engages 10- to 14-year-old children and educators across rural communities in STEM learning. The primary objective of the program is to build confidence in science skills and increase aspiration around careers in STEM for learners from low science capital backgrounds, with a focus on basic laboratory skills and technical careers.

Dr. Megan Davey, a Group Leader who works in Functional Genetics and Development at the EBSOC, says the university’s partnership with Waters will also help to remove the “geographical and financial barriers” to accessing STEM learning opportunities for “underserved pupils attending schools in rurally isolated areas of Scotland.” While our financial program contributions are critical to sustaining the program, some of our colleagues also generously volunteer to share their expertise with students through virtual, skills-based instruction, and on-campus visits to the EBSOC.

Also new to our STEM philanthropy portfolio this year is our partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab. The lab’s Community Biotechnology Initiative, in partnership with Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics and the Juice Foundation, aims to address the need for greater diversity in leadership in scientific and technological fields. MIT’s 12-week, project-based learning program – offered to eighth through twelfth-grade students in underserved communities – offers cutting-edge STEM education and facilitates the development of critical leadership skills. The Director of the Community Biotechnology Initiative, Dr. David Sun Kong, says Waters’ financial and intellectual contributions have been instrumental in supporting MIT’s vision to offer novel and engaging enrichment opportunities to these students – experiences that will be invaluable to their education.

Long-lasting STEM Partnerships to Appreciate

“It’s crucially important to get more young students interested in technology, particularly the type of technology that we do here at Waters,” said Chris Benevides, Senior Director of Operations at Waters. “By introducing the students to cutting-edge tools and chemistry…we have opened some eyes and made them more curious about going into STEM-related careers.” Our employees can influence younger generations and their future career paths by sharing their expertise and are proud to be able to do so.

For this reason, Waters has maintained a partnership with JA Worldwide, one of the world’s most impactful, youth-serving NGOs, to introduce students in China, Ireland, Romania, Singapore, the U.K., and the U.S. to careers in STEM by hosting virtual career discussions, providing access to vocational videos, and offering opportunities for coaching and mentoring. This past year, our career sessions have not only engaged thousands of students but many of our colleagues as well.

What better way to explore science, particularly the life sciences, than by immersing students in a day of the life of a STEM professional.

Every Day is STEM Day at Waters

Though we note the importance of STEM on this day, Waters celebrates STEM daily and continually strives to make a positive, lasting impact in the communities in which we live and work around the globe. We are committed to instructing students with a balance of education, exposure, and hands-on experiences so that they, too, can experience the joy that a STEM education can bring.

Learn more about our STEM initiatives:

Read about our STEM Ambassador Program & watch STEM Live videos

Blog: STEM Internship Program: Education, Exposure, Experience

Blog: Ming Gao, Ph.D. on Enabling COVID-19 Research and Empowering Women in STEM

Blog: The Legacy of Kory Morrow: Expanding STEM Opportunities for Students of Color

Categories: Philanthropy