Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) skills have been traditionally valued and rewarded in spaces such as medical, software engineering, and financial careers. With the number of severe environmental issues (biodiversity loss, climate change, air pollution…) the world faces, there is a need for STEM subjects and skills to be at the forefront of solving the environmental crisis. Issues such as climate change are more than just scientific facts, they are social issues that force us to address the many inequalities impacting all systems – health, food, economic and political. The foundation for understanding these issues and their impact is to explore and understand the science that underpins them.
Climate related issues impact everyone. Its effects, however, disproportionately fall on vulnerable populations such as young people. Youth play a significant role in forming a sustainable future as they must bear the burden of the devastating effects of climate change. Providing the next generations with STEM education is pivotal to solving the climate crisis. STEM training will allow young people to better explore and understand the scientific changes in the environment and equip them with tools and resources to solve problems with creativity and innovation, giving hope that empowers them to continue to combat the environmental crisis. STEM education improves the ability to assimilate information, calculate risks and find the answers to the unsolved challenges fueling the environmental crisis. It also will produce qualified specialists with the training required by a green economy.
One of the biggest global commitments made by governments is to significantly reduce their carbon emissions to reach “net-zero” within the next decade. A key element to achieving “net-zero” is to power economies with clean energy and nature-based solutions such as solar energy, wind energy and forestation, which would considerably reduce carbon emissions. Technology plays a crucial role in addressing issues such as air, soil and water pollution. Additionally, innovative solutions from Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Blockchain are already supporting organizations in energy production, reductions in GHGs, data collection, decentralizing energy trading, smart metering, and enhanced grid management. Further innovations in Forest Biometrics and AI-informed forestry are also being developed to expand the impact and sustainability of nature-based carbon sequestration in forestry.
STEM Minds’ mission is to empower the next generation of global leaders by building knowledge and capacity to armour them with the skills to develop innovative solutions to the environmental crisis. We are educating youth with learning experiences that highlight the power of STEM when it is integrated with learning about the environment. To further our impact, we have become a proud Smart Forest Steward with Canada’s Forest Trust by growing a Smart Forest™ – and protecting it forever. This will support STEM Minds’ mission to become net-zero by sequestering operational carbon emissions and preserving biodiversity for generations.