In 2019, Katie Jamieson founded Engage! because she was passionate about bringing people together, event planning and helping organizations serve their communities. Engage! is an organization that works with nonprofits to plan conferences, volunteer engagement and more.
“We really focus on who an organization is serving and how we can make sure that we are building that community,” said Jamieson. Jamieson came on our podcast to talk about her organization and its mission.
Starting during a pandemic
Only a few months after her team launched Engage!, the pandemic struck the country. Like any other workplace, Jamieson said her organization had to make some major shifts.
Through these changes, Jamieson observed that there was a large gap between the way STEM professionals interact with students. In a typical year, STEM professionals would serve as mentors for kids in school. However, this wasn’t happening since most Minnesota schools were completely online.
Jamieson and her team decided to create the initiative called STEM Meets the Challenge of the Pandemic. This is an educational resource that highlights the ways STEM professionals are helping the world during the pandemic. Their website features videos of stories from actual professionals, blogs and more.
“It’s really been an honor to put my skills to use to serve in this capacity, and to bring people together for our educators and our students and our professionals over the last several months,” said Jamieson.
Many educators are incorporating STEM Meets the Challenge of the Pandemic’s resources into their online curriculum according to Jamieson. She also talked about how this initiative is shining a light on the importance of STEM in the workforce.
“We think, “Oh, well, how am I ever going to use math someday?” Well, we have been in a situation here now where this is put forward, and how important it is to have people who can process data, who can communicate it in an understandable manner and, and use that to help identify where we’re headed and how we’re going,” said Jamieson.
STEM Meets the Challenge of the Pandemic is hosting a virtual summit called Beyond the Pandemic. It’s taking place next week on May 12 and 13 from 10am-4pm on each day.
The event will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions and more. They will be talking about how the STEM industry made on impact during the pandemic and how it will continue to do so.
“The goal is really to have people engaged from the STEM world, other interested professionals, our educators, and also bring in some students,” said Jamieson.
The event will answer some questions people have about the world of STEM post pandemic. They’ll talk about how the industry is shifting, how employers are hiring differently and how they are continuing to build a diverse workforce.
The future of STEM
Jamieson believes that the skills that employers look for in employees has shifted since the pandemic, particularly for digital skills. She said that employers are focusing on how people are innovating and collaborating during challenges.
“We’re just now starting to identify what might be next on the other side of this, and those are kind of the big things that I see arising from conversations across the industry,” said Jamieson.
That is all the insight that Jamieson gave about STEM organizations during the pandemic. If you are interested in learning more about it, register for Beyond the Pandemic here.