Developing tomorrow’s innovators

As a materials science company, Dow embraces the importance and value of investing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and diversity. To help create and prepare a stronger workforce of tomorrow, we are investing in STEM programs that help build the skills that today’s youth will need to become creative, critical thinkers prepared to participate and thrive in a complex global environment.

Our focus on STEM is two-fold:

  • Inspiring and preparing the next generation of manufacturers, engineers and chemists: From investing in building trades programs at targeted Dow locations to volunteering at K-12 schools to spark interest in STEM careers, we seek opportunities to reach and excite under-represented populations about manufacturing, engineering and chemistry.
  • Fostering the innovative mindsets and creativity of our future workforce: To reach breakthrough solutions to some of the world’s greatest problems, we need to cultivate out-of-the-box thinking and curiosity at all levels of the educational system. We do this by engaging with our schools, inviting students into Dow, and funding research that offers real-world experiences and inspires students to think differently and solve problems in new ways.

Inspiring STEM students in Algeria

Dow partnered with World Learning in Algeria to establish a STEM Center in Algiers in 2015. The center has now hosted more than 2,500 students and has become a model for STEM education across Algeria. As part of the program, teachers and mentors from across Algeria completed an intensive 16-session STEM teaching methodology course and started hosting student workshops at the STEM Center. Dow also facilitated a collaboration between WE and the STEM Center to launch the “WE Are Innovators” program there. The program challenges elementary and high school students to use STEM skills to develop innovative ideas to address challenges in their communities and around the world.

Partnering with Junior Achievement in China

The “Our City” program teaches students ages 10-11 in China to learn about sustainable urbanization. Dow initiated the education program in 2007 in partnership with Junior Achievement. The 12-week program teaches basic concepts of sustainability and circular economy. To date, the program has impacted more than 650,000 students and nearly 17,000 teachers across 35 cities in China and involved 2,650 Dow volunteers.

Despite COVID-19, in 2020 we managed to implement the “Our City” program in 22 cities across the country. A total of 36,054 primary school students and 827 teachers participated in the “Our City” program, in which nearly 18,000 students were taught about plastics recycling.