Regional Public-Private Partnership to Inspire Youth to Careers in
In honor of Computer Science and Education Week, the Pan American
Development Foundation (PADF) and partners announce a new educational
initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean called STEM in the
Americas: Inspiring the next Generation of Science and Technology
Students. The project seeks to promote science, engineering,
technology and mathematics (STEM) to young students in Argentina,
Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile.
PADF and partners including The Boeing Company and the Dart Foundation
in Mexico will launch innovative STEM education initiatives that aim to
inspire young students.
While school enrollment rates have vastly improved in recent years,
Latin American students continue to rank in the bottom third worldwide
in math, reading and science, according to the latest Programme for
International Student Assessment (PISA) survey. One of the barriers to
success is unequal access to education. The region’s poorest students
are more than two years behind their wealthier counterparts, according
to the Inter-American Development Bank, which predicts it would take
decades for the region to catch up with higher performing countries.
“Science and technology education is fundamental to building a
highly-skilled, professional work force in Latin America and for driving
economic growth,” says Marcos Jimenez, CEO of Softtek USA and a board
member for PADF. “When taught well, these subjects can inspire a sense
of curiosity—which is tied to educational achievement—in even the
PADF is committed to furthering the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This program aims to address income inequality, provide quality
education and promote gender equality. Whether it's a science fair
in Mexico, a nature-based science curriculum in Brazil, supplying books
to schools in Argentina or providing educational support to teachers
in Chile, PADF and partners are working to bridge the digital divide.
These STEM initiatives aim to engage young children from disadvantaged
economic backgrounds who many not otherwise have the opportunity to
learn about the field. The programs are designed to promote greater
student engagement in science and technology, particularly among
communities that are disproportionately underrepresented in these
fields, including girls and indigenous youth.
STEM in the Americas recognizes the critical role that teachers
play in promoting science and technology and will create custom
curricula based on each country’s needs.
STEM in the Americas is a member of the Latin American and Caribbean
Network for the Popularization of Science and Technology (RedPOP), an
interactive network, which promotes regional cooperation to further
education in science and technology.
“Improving the scientific and analytical skills of students can solve a
range of socioeconomic problems and help Latin American countries take a
leading role in finding solutions to the region’s most challenging
issues,” says Luisa Villegas, Deputy Senior Programs Director for PADF.
Often, teachers are not well-equipped to promote STEM education. The
STEM in the Americas project will address the need for increased
educational opportunities for vulnerable youth both inside and outside
of the classroom. In all countries, the project will build teacher
capacity as well as that of students.
For more information, or to participate, visit www.padf.org/stem.
PADF operates throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to generate
economic opportunities, advance social progress, strengthen civil
society, and prepare for and respond to natural disasters and
humanitarian crises. In 2016, the Foundation reached more than 41
million people in 14 countries. Headquartered in Washington D.C., PADF
has field offices and projects throughout Latin America and the
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PADFHearly G. Mayr, +1-202-280-3846Director of
Communications and Public Affairshmayr@padf.org