Austin Tech Companies Launch Website Promoting Free STEM Opportunities to Austin-Area Students
AUSTIN, Texas – Oct. 5, 2015 – AuSTEM, an alliance of Austin-area technology companies, today launched a one-stop website where students, parents and teachers in the greater Austin area can find free educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The new website, www.AuSTEM.org, provides a clearinghouse of STEM-related resources and activities for middle and high school students attending Austin-area public and private schools.
Founding members of the AuSTEM alliance include Samsung Austin Semiconductor (SAS), Silicon Labs and Tokyo Electron (TEL). These companies have listed their free STEM programs on AuSTEM.org. The programs range from field trips and immersive campus visits where students tour high-tech labs, “shadow” engineers at work and participate in hands-on STEM activities to longer term mentoring opportunities that last an entire semester or summer. These and other STEM opportunities often have led to paid part-time summer internships at leading tech companies in Austin. Additionally, AuSTEM.org visitors can learn about STEM programs from other Austin-area technology companies including National Instruments.
“Until now, it has been difficult for Austin-area students and teachers to identify and access free STEM opportunities offered by Austin’s tech companies,” said Jason Savage, founder of the AuSTEM alliance. “AuSTEM.org helps students find these valuable STEM programs in a single self-serve website.”
STEM careers are in high demand across the United States. Advanced degrees in STEM-related fields open doors to high-paying jobs and enable college graduates to effectively compete in today’s competitive global economy. In Austin, however, there is a growing gap between the number of STEM-related jobs available each year and the number of college-educated graduates qualified to fill these positions.
According to a recent analysis by WalletHub, a website operated by Evolution Finance Inc., Central Texas ranks No. 2 in the nation for workers in STEM-related jobs, and the Austin area ranks No. 5 for the largest percentage of STEM employees and No. 7 for STEM-related employment growth. A Brookings Institution report published in July 2014 also noted that nearly half of Austin-area job openings required STEM skills, and those openings take longer to fill than non-STEM jobs due to requirements for advanced degrees and specialized training.
By actively engaging with Austin’s students and offering impactful STEM experiences, AuSTEM member companies are helping to inspire students to graduate from high school and pursue STEM-related college degrees and trade-school programs while exposing them to the diverse high-tech careers available in the Austin area and around the country.
“As an educator, I am grateful for community advocates who champion the cause of providing students with a variety of relevant educational experiences both in and out of the classroom,” added Carol Reese, a gifted and talented specialist at West Ridge Middle School in the Eanes Independent School District. “AuSTEM’s hard work and dedication to opening up pathways for students to discover and explore their individual talents and interests goes well beyond traditional school frameworks, and it is exciting to witness the sparks take hold as students are exposed to people and ideas in these STEM-related fields.”
AuSTEM is a pilot program that is actively expanding its membership base and recruiting high-tech companies in the Austin area. After the 2015-16 school year, the program will be evaluated for its effectiveness and impact on meeting the needs of the Austin community. AuSTEM welcomes companies involved in the electronics industry, computing, software and systems development, the Internet and e-commerce, networking and telecommunications, medical science and technology, mechanical and petroleum engineering, alternative energy, transportation and other similar fields. To join AuSTEM and to learn more about AuSTEM’s free STEM programs in the Austin area, please visit www.AuSTEM.org or contact email@example.com.
Founded in 2015, AuSTEM is an Austin-based alliance of high-tech companies and organizations dedicated to advancing free educational experiences in science, technology, engineering and math for middle and high school students in the greater Austin area. AuSTEM is open to any company in the Austin-area providing free STEM-related programs and activities to Austin students. The AuSTEM website, www.AuSTEM.org, provides a clearinghouse of STEM opportunities ranging from day trips and tours of Austin-area high-tech companies to paid part-time internships.
Dale Weisman, Media Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, (512) 743-6240
Jason Savage, AuSTEM.org, email@example.com