General Motors is helping to increase student’s awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by partnering up with Kettering University in Flint, Michigan. GM estimates 80 percent of future jobs will be in STEM fields, but only 16 percent of graduates in 2018 will receive a STEM-related degree.
To help encourage students to pursue STEM degrees and careers, GM and Kettering’s Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE) program built wood duck nesting boxes from scrap Chevrolet Volt battery covers. 31 female high school students participated in the endeavor and received guidance from GM’s manager of global waste reduction, John Bradburn.
GM says the nesting box project helped the students discover a “whole new subset of engineering” in environmental engineering.
“I wish I could share this with every girl across the United States,” said Erika Beursken, a Kettering student involved in the nesting box activity. “This shows a career in STEM is possible and rewarding.”
The nesting box activity signified the end of the LITE program. LITE is a two-week long summer program that provides girls who have completed their junior year of high school with hands-on experience in engineering and other STEM-related fields that are traditionally dominated with male employees.
The nesting boxes will be placed along a five-mile stretch of the Flint River in Michigan. GM has also placed 520 nesting boxes built from scrap Volt battery covers on various public and private lands all over the United States and Canada. The initiative is just one of the few GM takes to promote STEM education. Other endeavors include EcoCar, which encourages students to reduce a certain vehicles environmental impact, and U.S. First Robotics, an international high school robotics competition.