EWH Announces North Carolina K-12 STEM Program to Inspire Young People

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PRESS RELEASE

Engineering World Health Announces North Carolina K-12 STEM Program to Inspire More Young People to Pursue Careers in Science

  • Program offered at N.C. State Summer Camp, Boys & Girls Clubs, Boys & Girls Scouts of America
  • 1,000 children in K-12 participated to date
  • Currently offered in North Carolina with Biogen Idec Foundation
  • Engineering World Health planning national growth

WASHINGTON, D.C. AND DURHAM, N.C.—July 29, 2014—Engineering World Health (EWH; www.ewh.org), an organization committed to inspiring, educating, and empowering the biomedical engineering community to improve global healthcare delivery in the developing world, today announced the launch of its STEM program. The program’s mission is to draw K-12 students to the study of science, technology, engineering and math, inspiring future generations of biomedical engineers to take on the challenges of healthcare technology in the developing world.

“We think it’s vital to work with young people to spark their interest in the STEM fields,” said Leslie Calman, Ph.D., CEO of Engineering World Health. She added, “Healthcare needs, both in the U.S. and the developing world, are great and so too is the need for young people, particularly girls and children of diverse cultures, to commit to a career in the STEM fields to meet those challenges.”

Engineering World Health’s STEM program, funded by the Biogen Idec Foundation, is designed to foster elementary, middle and high school students’ enthusiasm for STEM fields, raise awareness of global challenges in health care delivery, and demonstrate through hands-on learning how science, technology, engineering and math can solve global challenges.

“Science is for everyone,” said Machelle Sanders, Trustee of the Biogen Idec Foundation. “We want to ignite a passion for discovery among all young people. The hands-on learning that Engineering World Health’s STEM program provides will help inspire our next generation of science leaders.”

The EWH STEM program is focused on motivating girls and other underrepresented populations because of the dearth of those groups in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Dr. Calman said, “While biomedical engineering has proven to be a point of entry for girls into the STEM fields, the U.S. is losing ground globally in these areas. We have to do what we can in the industry to draw the talents of more girls and minority groups to our field.”

“The program helped me to think more about the real world and how, in some countries, hospitals don’t have air conditioning and how that affects the design of technology,” said Alek Lin (age 9).   He added, “I love it and want to come back to the program again.”

Since its inception, the EWH STEM program has taught approximately 1,000 students in partnerships with the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Carolina, Boys and Girls Scouts of America, and the North Carolina State Summer Camp “The Engineering Place.

EWH also partners with Girls Engineering Change, a program that works with Girl Scouts of America and other girls’ groups to encourage the pursuit of STEM education and careers. While the program has initially been focused in North Carolina, EWH plans to make this a national program and is presently seeking partners to facilitate its growth.

About Engineering World Health

Engineering World Health (EWH) is a non-profit organization that brings engineering students, professionals, and healthcare providers together to collaborate on the development and utilization of bioengineering equipment in the developing world. EWH provides programs including: STEM, Biomedical Engineering Technician training (BMET), University Chapters, Summer Institute, and Design Competitions. Learn more at: www.ewh.org

About the Biogen Idec Foundation

The Biogen Idec Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of peoples’ lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which Biogen Idec operates. The Foundation puts a special emphasis on innovative ways to promote science literacy and encourage young people to consider science careers. The Foundation focuses on STEM education initiatives and is committed to sparking a passion for science and discovery, supporting innovative initiatives, and strengthening efforts to make science accessible to diverse populations. Learn more at: Biogen Idec Foundation

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