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Generation Innovation: How a public school STEM competition is helping educate the next wave of empathetic innovators

A special custom podcast series from FastCo Works and Facebook, “Uncommon Good” features conversations with the business leaders who combine purpose with innovative thinking to give back to their local or global community.

Generation Innovation: How a public school STEM competition is helping educate the next wave of empathetic innovators

Generation Innovation: How a public school STEM competition is helping educate the next wave of empathetic leaders

On this episode, Chris Denson sits down with Ann Woo, Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship at Samsung Electronics America to learn about STEM curriculum in education. She tells Chris about Samsung Solve for Tomorrow, a national high school level competition with a $2MM prize.

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS EPISODE:

CHRIS DENSON:

When people think of STEM, they think of equipment like 3D printers and laser cutters. So how did you go about understanding the difference between a stem lab and STEM curriculum in education?

ANN WOO:

I think the stats of US students performance on math and science just underwhelms compared to other countries. And we knew that students weren’t really interested in studying math and science here in the US. So what we wanted to do is not be a classroom, but to work with educators to understand how we as a corporation could change the conversation, could excite a generation of students to think of STEM in a different way, which is really that problem solving, critical thinking.

A $2 million annual prize never hurts the conversation for sure, but it was really our way of saying that applying textbook learning it with continuous innovation is at the core of what we do at Samsung. And how do we bring that into classrooms? How do we share that with the next generation of students so that it’s relatable, it’s approachable, it’s culturally relevant? As young people, they really want to change the world. How do we tap into that and show them the skills that they need to get to the answer?

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