The ASQ Journal for Quality and Participation, April 2014 issue is focused on "Building Excellence through Social Responsibility". In the article " Community Involvement in STEM Learning", David Davis and I discuss the importance of the involvement of corporations, organizations and educational institutions in the community in supporting informal STEM learning. In particular, we highlight citizen science projects, such as testing water quality to inspire K12 students about learning science. These projects also have the potential of reaching out to economically disadvantaged students since the cost of the projects is often very low. At the same time, entire families or neighborhoods can get involved in a fun activity that supports/encourages STEM learning and research.
Most corporations recognize the importance of improving STEM learning and our K-12 education systems. They recognize that there is a shortage of engineers, technicians and scientists. Support of science citizen projects is often inexpensive and yet can be a community-wide effort. In collaborating on citizen science projects, corporations are recognized as socially responsible members of the community supporting K-12 STEM learning and future student pathways to careers in science and engineering.
The entire issue is at http://asq.org/pub/jqp/
Cindy Veenstra, PhD