|Ed McKiernan | President, Cold Chain, Electronics & Solutions
Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions
Today is National STEM Day. For those who may not know, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is a national coalition aimed at preserving America’s place as a global technological leader by focusing on educational principles that help students learn and excel in those four subjects. While we join in today’s celebration, STEM is a continual, dedicated area of focus at Emerson. You might even say it’s in our DNA.
So, on this day, we’d like to take a look at why STEM is important to the futures of our children, company and country.
- Educational empowerment — first and foremost, STEM is about empowering our children to overcome the stigmas often associated with its curriculum — from being too complex to being reserved only for the academically exceptional — while inspiring interest in STEM careers. Doing so will require STEM activities to be more accessible, engaging and mainstream. Simply put: it means making STEM cool again.
- Closing the gender gap — today less than 50 percent of females are encouraged to pursue STEM careers. To ensure equal career opportunities and earning potentials, we need to inspire their interest in STEM from a young age and provide pathways that lead to long STEM careers.
- Technological transformation — in an era where technology is transforming nearly every aspect of our lives, STEM skills are more relevant than ever. Nowhere is this more evident than in the HVAC&R industries. Service technician jobs are becoming more technological than mechanical; architectures that drive these systems are rapidly changing; and electronics and digital controls are permeating every aspect of their operations.
- More data = more science — an abundance of data is changing the way systems (such as HVAC&R) are maintained, operated and optimized. This brings the role of data scientists to the forefront with their abilities to write the algorithms that process this data, detect trends and anomalies, and even predict issues before they happen.
- Making up lost ground — there’s no question that the U.S. has fallen behind other countries in STEM-related skillsets and disciplines. It’s time to bring these competencies and spirit of innovation back to our shores to help usher in the next generation of technical know-how in an increasingly connected, global economy.
Emerson has been a champion of the STEM program for many years, so National STEM Day holds a special place in our hearts. We believe STEM is good not only for our children’s development, but also the prosperity of our country. In recent years, we’ve seen the rapid advancement of technology in our shared industries, and there’s no sign of this pace slowing down in the foreseeable future. STEM is vital in ensuring that the U.S. continues to set this pace and preserve our place at the global technological table.