Challenge Camps encourage and promote children who have a sincere passion for science and math, According to Carole Berman, Camp Director, “The Challenge Camp course Adventures in the Lab stimulates and encourages a love of science. Microscopy enables campers to enhance their ability to examine their life science experiments. We are very excited that Hitachi is providing this wonderful opportunity to our campers.”
Improving America’s STEM education is one of President Obama’s top priorities. Last July, President Obama announced a new plan to create a national STEM Teacher Corps. At the Third Annual White House Science Fair held in April 2013, President Obama said, “One of the things that I’ve been focused on as President is how we create an all-hands-on-deck approach to science, technology, engineering, and math… We need to make this a priority to train an army of new teachers in these subject areas, and to make sure that all of us as a country are lifting up these subjects for the respect that they deserve.” In 2009, the President launched the “Educate to Innovate” initiative aimed at improving American STEM education and helping students move ahead of other countries in science and math achievement. One outgrowth of this initiative is “Change the Equation,” nonprofit, nonpartisan, CEO-led initiative that is mobilizing the business community to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning in the United States. Hitachi has been a member of this organization since 2011.
In fact, the most recent data from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study reveal that several nations are well ahead of the U.S. in terms of the number of students who are scoring at the highest levels in math and science. On a global basis, the U.S. ranked 11th in 4th grade math, 9th in eighth-grade math, 7th in 4th grade science and 10th in 8th grade science. Statistics also show a growing gap in the number of workers with the correct training to fill STEM-related jobs. It is estimated that by 2018, the U.S. will have 1.2 million job openings in STEM-related occupations – but only 200,000 graduates will have the skills to fill them.
According to Lauren Raguzin, Director, Branding and Corporate Communication for Hitachi America, Ltd., “As a technology company, Hitachi is working to inspire a new generation of achievement in science education and to ensure that students have the skills they need to meet the evolving demands of the workforce. There are many such activities that multiple Hitachi Group companies conduct.”
One such company is Hitachi High Technologies; the company is actively involved in STEM Education programs and quite philanthropic through its efforts. In an effort to captivate students’ imaginations and get them excited about science, Hitachi High Technologies has been loaning out its tabletop microscopes to schools, colleges, universities and science-oriented summer camps and events in Japan, South America, North America and Europe.
In partnership with its distributors, Hitachi High Technologies has dedicated a number of microscopes to support this CSR initiative. In 2102, Hitachi High Technologies America enhanced its STEM initiative by creating a website dedicated to STEM education that contains teacher-curated downloadable educational tools and learning modules so educators can turn to ready-made lesson plans for us