Lenovo’s $50,000 commitment is the latest of the company’s efforts to increase participation in STEM studies and to encourage students to aspire to careers in related fields.
A September 2011 U.S. Department of Congress report, “Women in STEM: A Gender Gap to Innovation,” revealed that: “although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs,” that “women hold a disproportionately low share of STEM undergraduate degrees, particularly in engineering,” and that “women with a STEM degree are less likely than their male counterparts to work in a STEM occupation.”
With this situation in mind, building upon the strength of Harpeth Hall’s existing STEM program for girls, the global program will champion the educational needs of girls as a group currently underrepresented in core STEM majors in college and in STEM careers.
The Harpeth Hall School has long been a leader in girls’ education, with a record of success as one of the nation’s top STEM education programs at the middle and high school level. Lenovo’s contributions will expand the program and create a global clearinghouse of best practices and discussions on curricula such as lesson plans and rubrics.
In connection with International Women’s Day, this contribution, focused on creating educational opportunities for girls, builds on Lenovo’s partnerships with institutions including St. Mary’s School (Memphis, TN), Meredith College (Raleigh, NC), and Dubai Women’s College (Dubai, UAE).
Jian (Gina) Qiao, senior vice president of human resources for Lenovo, noted, “STEM education for women and girls is a passion of ours at Lenovo and is critical not only to the success of our business, but to the technology industry as a whole. There’s nothing better than opening the eyes of students to a world of opportunity and teaching the next generation the skills to succeed— and we believe this partnership will help girls and women to do just that.” She continued, “In 2007, we launched WILL (Women in Lenovo Leadership) in connection with International Women’s Day. Five years later, we’re proud to continue this legacy and partner with The Harpeth Hall School on The Center for STEM Education for Girls.”
The globalization of The Center for STEM Education for Girls will culminate at The Think Tank & Conference, hosted on the campus of the Harpeth Hall School July 18-20, 2012. Under the theme “Changing the Paradigm: Lessons Up & Down the Pipeline – K12 to university to corporate,” the conference will cover topics including best practices in curriculum and teaching for girls; girls in coed schools; getting started in STEM; what message we need to send girls on STEM; and how schools can engage in community outreach to give girls hands-on experiences and access to STEM careers.
Dr. Stacy Klein-Gardner, Director of the Center for STEM Education for Girls, added, “We know that solutions to modern problems and the ongoing success of our nation are dependent upon the discoveries of well-trained scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and mathematicians; the inclusion of women in designing those solutions is essential to reaching the best outcomes. Through the Center for STEM Education for Girls at the Harpeth Hall School, we hope to have a transformative impact on the educational opportunities for girls by helping to increase participation by girls in science, technology, engineering, and math studies in high school and college and to encourage them to aspire to STEM careers. We are fortunate that corporate global partners, such as Lenovo, share our commitment to creating positive STEM environments for young women to succeed. “
About The Harpeth Hall School
The Harpeth Hall School is one of the country’s premier independent college preparatory schools for girls and young women in grades 5-12. Its mission is to help each student realize her highest intellectual ability in the sciences, the humanities, and the arts, and discover her creative and athletic talents. Harpeth Hall develops responsible citizens who have global perspectives and make meaningful contributions to their communities and the world. With a tradition of excellence and a commitment to life-long learning, Harpeth Hall educates young women to think critically, to lead confidently, and to live honorably. For more information, visit www.harpethhall.org.