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General Motors Focuses on STEM Education During 'Bring Your Child to Work Day'

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During General Motors’ annual “Bring Your Child to Work Day,” young children filled the Renaissance Center to experience games, exercise classes and indoor and outdoor activities. Efforts focused on making STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education opportunities more attainable and enjoyable for kids.


“Becoming an engineer sounds like it would be fun,” said 11-year-old Camaran Pruett of Detroit’s Flagship Charter Academy.

GM’s (No. 31 on the
DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity) mission is to help build the next generation of STEM leaders, with an emphasis on expanding opportunities to women and other underrepresented groups.

STEM Education Focus of General Motors' 'Bring Your Child to Work Day
Young students at “Bring Your Child to Work Day.”
General Motors

“General Motors is working toward a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion. We are investing in partnerships and communities we believe will help make this possible,” said Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO.

In 2017, 3,203 GM employees volunteered 54,780 hours in STEM-related activities.

An overview of the afternoon by WDIV-TV 4 Detroit:

GM’s History of Supporting STEM Education

Since 1976, through partnerships with eight Michigan universities, DAPCEP places underrepresented students in university environments on Saturdays during the school year and in camp format during the summer to learn advanced STEM topics.

DAPCEP program participants are youth between the ages of 4 and 18. They are predominantly from minority race and ethnic backgrounds, including African American and Hispanic (Latino/a).

The students range from Pre-K-12 and attend public and charter schools throughout Southeastern Michigan. The majority of GM’s student population comes from low-income households and live in areas that with high concentrations of poverty.

The company’s mission is to increase the number of underrepresented students who are motivated and prepared to pursue degrees leading to careers in STEM through Pre-K-12 supplemental education.

In
the Detroit Public Schools Community District alone, aggregate Spring 2015 MSTEP test results showed that only 7.9% of students met state Mathematics standards and only 2.9% met state Science standards.

These startling results demonstrate the substantial need for supplemental educational programming in STEM subjects. DAPCEP works toward meeting that need through multiple program formats.

On Saturdays during the school year, and in camp format during the summer, GM motivates, expose, and prepare students for futures in STEM fields.

Youth work in science and engineering laboratories on college campuses, and have opportunities to meet minority engineers, college students and other role models. The company’s core programming models include:

  • Pathfinders Saturday Series: Courses are offered to youth in grades 4-12 on Saturdays during Fall and Spring semesters. These courses focus on subjects that include mathematics, computer science, engineering, physics and chemistry.
  • Explorers Saturday series: The Explorers program takes place on Saturdays in the Fall and Spring semesters. In this program, PreK to 3rd graders explore topics including astronomy, biology, earth science, mathematics, and natural science.
  • Summer Channel: Students either live on campus for two to four weeks in Summer Residency or commute Monday through Friday for Commuter Camp. During summer camps, we place emphasis on exposing youth to cutting edge technology and the rigors of college life.
  • DAPCEP In-School Curriculum (DISC): DISC focuses on advanced STEM and project-based learning during weekday, in-school hours.
  • DAPCEP Pop-Up STEM Program: The Pop-Up STEM program brings 3-hour workshops led by trained facilitators to schools and organizations throughout metro-Detroit. All pop-up courses are hands-on, curriculum-based, and correlated to state education standards.
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