The View From Here
STEAM Camp Kids, 2018
The Future of Everything Youth is not wasted on the young, as long as we surround their energy, curiosity and talent with opportunities and guidance.
By Larry Barton, President, CEO, Strang
That approach is the genesis behind Strang’s annual STEAM Camp. STEAM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Now in its fourth year, this inclusive program invites middle school youth to interact with area industries and educators to raise awareness for educational pathways towards rewarding careers within STEAM disciplines.
Students are on site gaining firsthand experience from the likes of Madison Gas & Electric, Apple, UW-Madison, Old National Bank, Zendesk, UW Hospital and Overture Center For The Arts, to mention a few. To date, over 150 students from within the Urban League of Greater Madison, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland and the Ho-Chunk Nation have “graduated” from this program. However, there’s more to The Future Of Everything than STEAM Camp alone.
To better understand our thinking, perhaps it helps to understand our value system. We steadfastly infuse progressive values—inclusion, equality, education and environmentalism inextricably into our culture. Accordingly, Youth Development is one of Strang’s Pillars of Community. We sincerely believe our next generation really IS The Future of Everything. That’s why we are actively involved with Scouting, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Ronald McDonald House, Boys and Girls Club and more. We actively participate in Career Day activities and job shadowing programs. We hold an equal conviction that private industry should positively engage with our kids, helping to transform aspiration into reality. Education is all of our responsibility.
The STEAM Camp program gives kids a taste of STEM careers as well as the Arts.
If you agree, you don’t have far to look for help. Your local school district, chamber of commerce and United Way offices are excellent resources. Finally, when speaking about our area’s youth, one local community leader recently stated, “What they see is what they’ll be”. Let’s help our kids see a future where everything is possible, where they feel valued, accepted, respected and supported - they truly are The Future Of Everything. Now, let’s help make sure they have the opportunity to achieve everything the future can offer.
It’s vital to reset the balance of education where educators, industry and community create inclusive, diverse and nurturing learning environments, at all levels. We only succeed when everyone succeeds.