Heeding the Governor’s challenge to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, businesses in Utah have stepped up and are launching a more than $2 Million media campaign to increase interest in STEM education.

“STEM jobs are the jobs of Utah’s future,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert. “Whether students plan to work in a STEM career or not, they will need science, technology, engineering and math skills to be successful.”

The STEM media campaign, “STEM Utah: Curiosity Unleashed,” launched on January 30, 2014 in an event at Neil Armstrong Academy. Governor Gary R. Herbert and 30 business owners and C level officers from large and small businesses, including representatives from companies such as Goldman Sachs, dōTERRA, JP Morgan Chase, eBay, Nelson Labs, IM Flash, Adobe, Merit Medical, ATK, Energy Solutions, US Synthetic, Chevron, NuSkin, Fidelity and Boeing, were in attendance.

“Imagine what students could achieve if they caught the vision of their own capability to be successful with STEM topics!” said Jeffery R. Nelson, chairman of the STEM Action Board and president/CEO of Nelson Labs. “This would not only benefit their individual quality of life, it would make Utah the destination for great companies and great jobs into the future.”

The media campaign, developed and funded by many STEM supportive businesses, will include TV commercials and other media placement on radio, billboards and online. The messaging strategy for the campaign will be directed at both parents and students. The goal is to educate parents on the numerous opportunities available in STEM related fields, while educating students that STEM subjects are cool and exciting.

Last year our legislators supported the Governor’s Office by making the first state investment of $8.5 Million dollars to support math readiness and $1.5 Million into the establishment of the Utah STEM Action Center in support of science, technology, engineering and math. The first call to action for the new STEM Action Center, housed in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, was to test pilot new teaching systems and technologies in select classrooms throughout the State to help close the performance gap for sixth and eighth grade math as well as eighth and ninth grade college readiness in math. The initial pilot phase reached about 5,500 Utah students in more than 40 different schools.

The Governor has allocated an additional $3 Million to the STEM program expansion in his new budget for the coming year.

STEM education supports objective four of the Governor’s Economic Development Plan, which is to prioritize education to develop the workforce of the future. Scientists, technicians and engineers are integral to the success of Utah’s economy moving forward. The “STEM Utah: Curiosity Unleashed” campaign will help students and parents see that STEM study is cool.

For more information on the STEM Action Center and opportunities to support the campaign, visit curiosityunleashed.com. Businesses interested in participating in the STEM coalition should contact Sue Redington, 801-538-8811 or sredington@utah.gov.