Cummins Inc. employees around the world commemorated the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl recently with virtual and in-person events to highlight the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.
STEM education naturally integrates critical thinking and language skills that enrich a child’s education. Yet more can be done to make STEM accessible to more girls globally and provide diverse representation.
Each of Cummins’ key regions hosted activities the week of Oct. 10, many of which incorporated employees’ children or connected them with students in the community. One young girl in India who participated in a Cummins event said, “Today was another step in getting to know myself better and what I want for my future.”
Research indicates that girls with role models in STEM are more likely to pursue opportunities in these fields. All the Cummins events were designed to encourage more girls to pursue STEM careers. For example:
- In Beijing, China, more than 2,000 Cummins employees participated in delivering STEM educational programs to young female students. Nathan Stoner, Vice President of the China Area Business Organization for Cummins, gave an opening speech. The local Community Involvement Team launched a virtual STEM course for primary school students located thousands of kilometers away.
- In San Luis Potosi, Mexico, 110 Cummins employees held a STEM fair for 300 students from five nearby schools. Together with two nonprofits, they provided STEM experiments, Lego builds, robotics information, a research and development tour, virtual reality experiences and testimonials from female Cummins engineers.
- At several sites in Brazil, more than 100 Cummins employees offered plant tours to almost 300 children and teenagers so they could see female workers playing important roles in technical areas. Women in the technical field talked about their careers and highlighted the importance of STEM education for women and girls. They also participated in STEM activities, such as programming and robotics.
- In Zambia, more than 250 students from a local secondary school participated in a STEM engagement session with Cummins employees.
In Cummins’ headquarters community of Columbus, Indiana (U.S.), President and CEO Jennifer Rumsey joined several Cummins employees in meeting with 15 high school students from nearby Brown County. Together they visited the company’s Columbus Engine Plant, touring the battery assembly line and saw a Cummins electric test truck.
They also toured the Additive Manufacturing lab, which produces 3D-printed metal parts. The day helped expose the students to a wide range of STEM opportunities within Cummins – from manufacturing associates, research and development lab technicians, service engineering, technical administrative associates, trainers and more.
The team talked about the challenging and interesting careers in these areas and that starting a STEM career doesn’t require a college degree – apprenticeships and two-year degrees are common.
“One of the things I love most about my job is being able to share my experience with other women to empower and encourage them to get involved in manufacturing,” said Hayley McMahan, Senior Manufacturing Engineer at Cummins. “Events like these are what will help increase the female workforce in manufacturing!”