Sparking Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Engagement through Mentoring

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The New York Academy of Sciences and Sister Cities announce the formation of The STEMentoring Program to help students around the world realize their STEM futures.

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON DC (August 5, 2014) -The New York Academy of Sciences and Sister Cities International announced a new partnership, The STEMentoring Program, on July 31 to address the global science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills gap by forming mentoring relationships to engage students in STEM fields.

The importance of building a strong foundation of STEM skills is increasing as workforce needs change; in the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 75% of all jobs will require STEM expertise by 2018, with similar trends being reported around the world. Additionally, global challenges such as population growth, climate change, and increased energy usage demand innovative solutions to society's rapidly changing needs-and a STEM-literate population to provide such breakthroughs.

Building on the Academy's robust network of STEM experts and successful development of STEM education programming, as well as Sister Cities' role as a convener of international relationships and citizen diplomacy, the STEMentoring Program pairs STEM professionals with undergraduate and graduate students, who will benefit from a year of individual mentoring.

Mentors and mentees will be drawn from the populations of Sister City pairs around the world and will be matched through a robust online matching platform that uses career path profiles and learning objectives to create optimal mentor-mentee matches.

"Mentoring has been proven to be effective in the vital tasks of, first, inspiring young people to pursue STEM education and, second, supporting their efforts to succeed," says Ellis Rubinstein, President and CEO, The New York Academy of Sciences. "We owe it to the next generation to offer science and engineering role models who can make a difference in their lives."  

The STEMentoring Program will engage students in STEM subjects and bolster foundational skills through individual mentor-mentee relationships, as well by connecting students around the world through a virtual learning network in which they will participate in webinars, connect with STEM professionals, and complete online coursework, thus introducing students to the international aspects of participating in a global workforce.

The STEMentoring Program will also promote collaboration around real-life STEM challenges in Sister Cities' communities. Each year, a STEM Challenge will be issued in a particular topic area-for 2015, it will be water. Mentors and mentees will be invited to participate in Sister Cities International's Annual Conference, at which they will present their Challenge projects. The Summit will provide an opportunity for mentors and mentees to grow their networks and meet future collaborators, while learning about career path options and receiving leadership training.

"For 58 years, Sister Cities International has served as a hub for international cooperation and learning. Our partnership with NYAS will help create more people-to-people connections, bringing communities closer together and building professional relationships that will change lives," says Mary D. Kane, President and CEO, Sister Cities International.

For more information on The STEMentoring Program and how to participate, contact Megha Swamy at mswamy@sister-cities.org or call 202-237-8630.

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About Sister Cities International

Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International serves as the national membership organization for over 500 individual sister cities, counties, and states across the United States with relationships in 2,000 communities in 140 countries. This sister city network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats and volunteers who work tirelessly to promote peace and understanding through programs and projects focusing on arts and culture, youth and education, economic and sustainable development, and humanitarian assistance.

Facebook: Sister Cities International; Twitter: @SisterCitieslnt; Website: www.sister-cities.org      

About The New York Academy of Sciences

The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With 22,000 members around the world, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org.

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