This summer Ingersoll Rand welcomed 16 teachers, principals, and school counselors from across North Carolina for an event focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. STEM Day was orchestrated by North Carolina New Schools as part of its vision to prepare students for careers in STEM-related fields. Educators and Ingersoll Rand employees came together to discuss the role of STEM in industrial businesses and provide insight on how science, technology, engineering and math are used in various jobs throughout a manufacturing company.
Adifon Shares Global Trends, Need to Prepare for the Future
Keynote speaker Leandre Adifon, vice president – systems engineering and advanced technology, welcomed the group: “We’ve identified trends that will change our future - Sustainability, Modular Products, the Internet of Things, Big Data, 3D Printing and Cyber Security,” he said. “We need to prepare students today to address these trends by building strong foundations in science, technology, critical thinking and problem solving. Preparing the next generation of skilled workers for these challenges and opportunities is a responsibility we all share.”
Educators noted how these trends can be incorporated into the classroom, and that collaboration is key for companies to solve some of the toughest global challenges.
Interactive Activities Reinforce Application within Business
Throughout the day educators participated in workshops highlighting how STEM and sustainability is integral in various functions across the organization. Participants gained an understanding of what sustainability means in industry, how STEM supports sustainability and the overlap of sustainability as a shared issue across all industries.
Ingersoll Rand engineers, product managers and supply chain managers shared their roles in developing new products and touched on the STEM-related skills that are imperative for success. Participants were then led through an interactive decision-making activity where they were asked to evaluate a selection of suppliers to produce a new product, one step in the IRPDP.
Learning through External Experiences
Ingersoll Rand’s Audrey Mills, a test engineer and former physics instructor, shared her experiences putting transferrable skills to use from the classroom in her role at Ingersoll Rand. She encouraged educators to get out of the classroom and create experiences for their students to learn through viewing and participating in external activities.
During the day’s wrap up, several educators made links to STEM education and the corporate world. The Product Development activity was pivotal for some educators. They noted the importance of cross curriculum in schools to reinforce like ideas in various subjects to mirror how projects are accomplished in the workspace.
Exposure to Ingersoll Rand broadened educators’ thinking about the types of jobs that exist, some that students may know of and others they might not be aware of. Participants departed Ingersoll Rand with a clear tie to how STEM education contributes to the success of Ingersoll Rand’s employees.
About STEM Day
North Carolina New Schools created STEM Day to help educators in the STEM school network develop a deeper understanding of programs, learn about current research, and participate in activities with STEM professionals. These educators want STEM curriculum to include relevant experiences for students. To achieve this, teachers of all content areas must know about the real challenges professionals face. So they devote time to visit local employers and see STEM-related jobs in action.