Celebrating Access to STEM Education on National STEM Day
National STEM Day, recognized in the U.S. each year on November 8, is a terrific time to reflect on the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in a changing world. There is no doubt the world is changing fast and investing in STEM education is more important than ever to help us address some of the uncertainties we face.
Despite the potential of STEM fields to improve livelihoods and introduce innovative solutions to complex problems, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2021 just 7% of the American workforce was working in STEM jobs. Even though it is well documented that STEM careers offer higher wages, a sense of fulfillment, and innovation that supports prosperity, for many students in the U.S. today, finding access to a STEM education can be difficult.
One way that Keysight supports accessible STEM education in K-12 environments is through our partnership with the STEM Careers Coalition, the first-of-its-kind national STEM initiative powered by corporate and non-profit leaders and anchored in schools by Discovery Education. Through the STEM Careers Coalition, Keysight supports equitable access to STEM educational resources, as well as inspiration, to students across the U.S.
Through this partnership, Keysight has collaborated on a series of videos highlighting the STEM career journeys of some of our employees. In the making of the videos that Keysight curated, we wanted to showcase employee stories of resilience, hope and success. It was a priority to share relatable stories that talk about adversity and accomplishment, together.
We shared stories from Keysight employees like Luis Fernandez (pictured above), our Director of Quality, who has been with the company for over 30 years. In his video, Luis talks about how hard it was for him in elementary school as a kid who didn’t speak English, and the fulfillment he has now in his role.
"Careers are about you, and what your dreams are, and how hard you want to work for them. There are no other engineers in my family, but it was something I really wanted to do, and I worked hard to do it. Follow your dreams and work hard, you can do it!"
Luis Fernandez, Director of Quality
The advice he has for kids is to focus on learning, not grades. He shares that despite his having graduated from a top engineering university, no one asks about his grades at work. They want to see what you have learned. He tells the students, “Careers are about you, and what your dreams are, and how hard you want to work for them. There are no other engineers in my family, but it was something I really wanted to do, and I worked hard to do it. Follow your dreams and work hard, you can do it!”
Thank you, Luis, for sharing your story with students! On National STEM Day I hope we can shine a light on the need for more STEM professionals from all backgrounds to work together to solve some of the big challenges facing the next generation.
Happy National STEM Day!