Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Collaborative efforts in sparking interest in STEM subjects


Universities from US, Canada and Germany collaborate to create interest in STEM subjects among students.

In order to introduce STEM subjects to students and prepare them for a potential career in these fields, MilliporeSigma, the life sciences business of Merck KGaA in the United States and Canada, Darmstadt, Germany, and its local partner Harris Stowe State University (HSSU), decided to collaborate and provide Missouri High School students with educational opportunities and networking experiences through a two-week residential STEM camp.

“For various reasons, not all Missouri school districts have the same resources and students do not have equal opportunities to participate in hands-on lab experiences," said Dr. Tommie Yvette Turner, Director of the HSSU Math and Science Institute.

Together with MilliporeSigma executives, Dr. Turner hosted the first two-week STEM camp.
In early August, 25 children visited the MilliporeSigma Laclede site in St. Louis and real-life scientists from diverse backgrounds to tour the facility and participate in hands-on learning activities.

"Nothing makes anything seem more possible than seeing yourself there," said HSSU Ambassador Courtney Moore for St. Louis Hub, Millipore Sigma. She went on to add, “Students saw themselves doing something that they might have thought impossible because they had never seen anyone look like them do it before. Through this disclosure, the door of opportunity can be opened.”

MilliporeSigma also guided students through two of its Curiosity Labs™ lessons, engaging students with hands-on, hands-on learning based on inquiry. One of the lessons focused on chemiluminescence and introduced the students to how matter can undergo physical and chemical changes.

The second lesson focused on the structure and function of DNA.

“The students were very shy at first, but over the course of the days of the event they were vocal about their interest in STEM,” said Danielle Chavis, Curiosity Cube® Coordinator at MilliporeSigma. "One of my favorite moments occurred when a student connected the symbiotic relationship of mutualism in biology based on his word association ability."

Shipping container turned into a mobile science lab where they explored the human microbiome through three interactive science experiments.

"Giving students hands-on opportunities is always a pleasure, but I think knowing that these students Being part of my community and being able to meet at the supermarket or in town excites me about the impact we are having in St. Louis,” said Natalie Randolph, Head of Curiosity Cube® at MilliporeSigma.

On the last day of the visit, MilliporeSigma employees shared different career paths in STEM fields in a Q&A panel discussion.

"Solving society's many complex scientific problems requires a diverse mindset, experience and talented workforce. Recruiting diverse talent is important for teams to be innovative, cohesive and efficient,” said Dr. Gymnasts.

"Developing a diverse future workforce to solve problems will not only benefit employers like MilliporeSigma, but also benefit the family income of the people and economy of St. Louis."
Adjacent to the STEM camp -Wohnheim supports MilliporeSigma HSSU through in-kind and financial product donations, a college summer internship program, and various types of employee engagement.