4‑H NYSD Supporter Spotlight: Lockheed Martin

by Kittrina Thompson

Career opportunities in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) are available far and wide, however, according to a recent study, America is not keeping pace with the current and projected demand for graduates with STEM skills and training. This need is even more prevalent amongst women and minorities, who are significantly under-represented in STEM degrees and careers.

Lockheed Martin wants to empower today’s youth with the resources and knowledge needed to discover and explore STEM career opportunities. Introducing the 4‑H STEM Futures program.

Developed through work with National 4‑H Council, this national program features a new, research-based framework to set more young people on a clear pathway for careers as scientists and engineers. Through after-school learning and practical, hand-on experiences, the world of STEM comes to life as youth are armed with skills needed to face STEM in the real world.

The key component of the program is the 4‑H Career Pathway, a unique process that repositions STEM careers and majors as attainable options for youth, particularly girls and minorities. Here’s how it works:

Explore – youth participate in introductory, short-term STEM projects
Learn – youth delve into projects that teach more advanced STEM concepts and problem solving skills
Practice – youth engage in more long-term projects with professional coaches to guide them in building STEM and leadership skills for college and career
Experience – youth immerse themselves in a field of work, including on-site training, shadowing and internship opportunities with STEM businesses.
The best part about the process? Lockheed Martin employees, scientists and engineers will serve as mentors to youth across the country throughout each stage, amplifying the 4‑H /Lockheed Martin joint effort and making an even greater impact on today’s youth. They are even kicking off their work together with this year’s 4‑H National Youth Science Day event where volunteers will assist over 300 youth in the Motion Commotion experiment in Washington D.C. on October 7th – providing the opportunity to spark their interests in exploring STEM.

“Lockheed Martin has partnered with 4‑H for many years on STEM programs that educate and inspire tomorrow’s scientists, engineers and mathematicians,” said Emily Simone, Lockheed Martin’s director of Community Relations. “This new STEM Futures partnership will provide even more opportunities to introduce students to exciting STEM careers and make positive impacts on the world.”