Rockwell Collins Joins Change the Equation to solve America’s innovation problem
* President Obama launches Change the Equation at White House event
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Rockwell Collins announced today that it has joined Change the Equation (CTEq), a CEO-led initiative to cultivate widespread literacy in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). CTEq will not only achieve the President’s Educate to Innovate campaign mission to increase private and philanthropic involvement in STEM education, but also will meet a critical need for a workforce and a citizenry fluent in science and math.
Change the Equation is bringing together top companies like Rockwell Collins across multiple sectors, all of which are dedicated to preparing students for STEM-related careers as an investment in their business, the economy and our democracy. Through innovative and effective company-led programs, Rockwell Collins and CTEq aim to fill the opportunity gap with capable and enthusiastic STEM-literate young people. It is the first and only STEM education group that brings so many corporate leaders together in collaboration with the White House, State Houses nationwide, and the foundation community. Rockwell Collins joins founding members Time Warner Cable, Sally Ride Science, Kodak, Intel and Xerox.
“Rockwell Collins has invested in STEM education initiatives for more than 20 years,” said Clay Jones, chairman, president and CEO. “CTEq’s goals mirror our own-to promote engagement and passion for these topics in the next generation-and we are eager to bring our perspective and experience to the organization.”
Through its Engineering Experiences initiative, Rockwell Collins reaches more than 8,000 students each year via programs ranging from FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST LEGO League to Engineering Week activities and Project Lead the Way.
According to a report by the Center on Education and the Workforce, there will be eight million jobs available in STEM-related fields by 2018. Rockwell Collins currently has more than 500 job openings in the U.S. alone, the majority of which require a background in STEM education, and the company anticipates the demand for individuals to fill these jobs will only increase in the coming decade. However, the report also finds that the next generation of employees in America will be unprepared to take advantage of these positions.
America’s problem with math-which is the entry point into science, technology and engineering-is not solely rooted in academic skill. It may be indicative of a deeper cultural norm. According to a recent survey commissioned by CTEq, nearly three in ten adults believe they are not good at math. The problem is especially acute in younger Americans. More than half of Americans aged 18 to 36 admit that they often find themselves saying they can’t do math. Americans’ attitudes toward math were so negative that thirty percent would prefer cleaning the bathroom to doing a math problem.
“’I can’t do math’ has become an iconic excuse in our society,” said Linda Rosen, Chief Executive Officer of CTEq. “Many Americans have expressed it, but I don’t believe it’s an accurate reflection of who we are, or, more importantly, what we can do.”
Rosen continued, “If we don’t encourage our children and students to get excited about math as well as science, technology and engineering, we are denying them the chance to reach their potential, and be prepared for a future filled with opportunity.”
Rosen announced that CTEq will establish a set of criteria that guides the organization and its member companies in defining program success. CTEq has an ambitious agenda for its first year, including creating a snapshot of existing STEM investments by its 100 member companies to establish a baseline of STEM programs.
CTEq evolved as a result of the first Educate to Innovate Event in November 2009, when President Obama named five leading business and thought leaders (Sally Ride, Craig Barrett, Ursula Burns, Glen Britt, and Antonio Perez) to head an effort to improve American student participation and performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Gates Foundation generously provided challenge grants to launch the organization.
CTEq’s goals are to:
1. Improve STEM teaching at all grade levels, with a larger and more racially, ethnically and gender-diverse pool of highly-capable STEM teachers.
2. Deepen student appreciation and excitement for STEM programs and careers to increase enrollment and success, especially among females and students of color.
3. Achieve a sustained commitment to the STEM movement from business leaders, government officials, STEM teachers and other stakeholders through communication, collaboration and data-based decision making.
About Rockwell Collins
Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronic solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, information management and simulation and training is delivered by nearly 20,000 employees, and a global service and support network that crosses 27 countries. To find out more, please visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
About Change the Equation
Change the Equation (CTEq) is a non-profit organization whose 100 member companies from across industry sectors are dedicated to promoting innovation and investment in STEM teaching and learning. CTEq aims to give STEM education a central place in the national lexicon of excellence and achievement, establishing a national movement to support, promote and implement excellent STEM education for every child.
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