Last week, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president of Legal & Corporate Affairs, joined Jeffrey Wadsworth, CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute, and others at the U.S News STEM Solutions 2012 summit. During the opening panel, moderated by basketball icon and current Global Cultural Ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, participants spoke to the challenges, successes and needs surrounding STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the United States.
Brad spoke about the need for a more transformative approach to the advancement of STEM education, his involvement in rethinking the role business plays in education, and the types of partnerships needed to improve STEM learning outcomes for students. He also spoke about the importance of combining philanthropy with advocacy work, as well as the importance of the business community using its voice to advocate needed policy changes in state capitals and in Washington D.C.
Additionally, the official launch of STEMx was announced. STEMx is a multi-state network dedicated to improving education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Battelle, along with 13 state STEM education networks including Washington STEM (of which Microsoft is a founding partner), are currently involved with the STEMx network. STEMx will connect state networks and partners to drive growth in the areas of STEM policies, educational practices and partnerships.
To summarize Brad’s closing thoughts, there is nothing that is more important than the education of the next generation of Americans, as it is fundamental to the competitiveness of the United States for the next century.
The start of Brad’s participation on the panel can be found at the 22:30 minute mark in the first video found on this page.