What the participants in this unusual U.N. mission have in common is energy, a love and/or concern for the improvement of education and a working knowledge of technology.
From June 12 to 14 a group of about 130 people, invited by a British Airways/United Nations-sponsored initiative called UnGrounded and consisting of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, educators, venture capitalists, inventors and a few journalists, flew from San Francisco to London. Their ages ranged from the early 20s to senior citizens. What they had in common was a love and/or concern for the improvement of education and a knowledge of technology. While on the six-hour trip, they were given a task to find answers for this question: How can science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education be made more palatable for young people—especially females—so that jobs that are currently going unfilled can find the right applicants? After vetting all the conceptuals, a panel of U.N. and sponsor delegates voted to back AdviseHer, an online community that uses social networks and other pipeline programs to advocate for females in STEM education. AdviseHer will recruit women in STEM companies, retirees and former IT company employees to advise young women as they show interest in IT education. This will reduce attrition rates in STEM university programs and help raise funds for startups founded by women. (Photos by Chris Preimesberger)
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