Boosting STEM Education: Addressing a National Imperative

Boosting STEM Education: Addressing a National Imperative

By David Yeung, MBA | March 23, 2015
Manager of Strategy & Business Development, ETR

At ETR, we tackle challenges that are increasingly complex and interconnected, transcending traditionally defined boundaries. We are passionate about solving issues that are difficult and sometimes deep rooted. We want to discover solutions that have meaningful impact for individuals and communities.


In order for us to deliver on that mission, we must embrace different backgrounds, perspectives and disciplines. This is why I am proud to welcome to ETR a diverse and talented team of fulltime MBA students from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.


They are going to help us discover solutions to some very complex issues!

About Ross' Multidisciplinary Action Projects (MAP)

The University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business MAP program matches MBA students with businesses and nonprofits around the world. This unique seven-week program is a capstone element of the MBA program. It offers students hands-on experience to tackle real-world challenges, apply their leadership skills, use what they’ve learned in the classroom, and pursue their personal passions.

ETR is honored to have been selected to host a MAP team. We are just starting our work with four impressive Ross students. They’re absorbing an immense amount of information about our organization and working directly with staff to understand what we do. Staff are already feeling the excitement and inspiration of these interactions. We have great intentions for our future.

About ETR's Work in Youth and Technology

ETR has long recognized that opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education can be transformative in individuals and communities. For over a decade, ETR has collaborated with families, schools and communities to support underserved youth—especially girls, Latino(a)s and rural youth—in opportunities to explore STEM topics. Given the chance, many of these youth discover that they have a true passion for the work.

ETR bridges science and practice to increase diversity and opportunities in STEM for underserved communities. Our research has identified strategies for successful engagement. This work is opening doors to technology education and careers for young women and men.

Global Competitiveness

Despite the clear need for more students in these fields, enrollment and retention rates in some STEM programs are actually in decline. Technology companies have put a spotlight on workforce diversity. These are not simply metrics to be tracked. They represent profound imperatives that we must address as a nation to be competitive internationally.

Without talent, companies cannot build products and innovations. Without diversity, companies cannot build the right products for a global marketplace.

Discovering the Problems and Solutions

This brings us to our exciting work with the MAP team. With the scale of investment, focus and the burgeoning number of organizations dedicated to increasing opportunities through STEM, it seems that the right pieces might already be in place.

Like solving a puzzle, I don’t think we necessarily need to look for more pieces to add. Instead, let’s look at how different pieces could connect to create a clearer picture. Is there an opportunity to build a “STEM ecosystem” that connects stakeholders together and allows us to scale and create sustainable social impact?

It’s a question that’s challenging and carries national importance. And, speaking personally as a Ross alum myself, it’s one that I’m confident our team from Michigan can tackle.

Stay tuned to hear more about their journey.

David Yeung, MBA, is ETR’s Manager of Strategy and Business Development. His past work has included strategic analysis and the development of innovative health and wellness platforms. He has worked with public and private organizations to assess and improve HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. He is also a proud alum of the Michigan Ross School of Business.


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