We're promoting STEM careers

Our classroom volunteers drive interest in jobs that use science, technology, engineering and math.

For the last two school years, PGE employees have volunteered at Bridger Elementary — an eastside Portland Public School with a Spanish immersion program and a high percentage of students with a low socioeconomic status. Our team leads the children in fun, hands-on science experiments, such as building and racing balloon-powered race cars.

PGE employee Ana Anderson-Solari (shown here) is just one of many PGE employees who uses training in science, technology, engineering and math to volunteer as part of PGE’s participation in Business Education Compact’s STEM ConnectTM initiative.

STEM Connect brings together business partners and underserved schools to inspire interest in math and science careers through interactive activities. The program focuses on fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms where research shows students begin to lose interest in math.

The results are promising. A survey of students at 14 STEM Connect schools, including Bridger, showed:

  • 66 percent are more interested in science
  • 46 percent are more interested in math
  • 83 percent find hands-on activities interesting or very interesting
  • 80 percent would like to have the volunteers back in class

“STEM skills are essential to enable a strong economic future for Oregon and our company,” says Jim Piro, PGE president and CEO and STEM Investment Council board member. “In support of our regional workforce development, PGE is committed to encouraging students of all ages to pursue education in the technical trades as well as science, technology, engineering and math, which can lead to students filling high-wage, high-demand jobs.”