OnStar’s NextGen Tech Lab

March 14, 2024

OnStar’s NextGen Tech Lab

March 14, 2024

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To help inspire the next generation of tech leaders, OnStar invited the Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan to explore design thinking and the benefits of a STEM education.

Stacy Lynett is vice president, information technology at General Motors. She has a master’s degree in information technology from Carnegie Mellon and more than two decades worth of experience in the field. Before all of that, however, she was a Girl Scout.

“We learned the value of taking on a challenge to try to get that badge,” she said, recalling the full range of experiences she encountered. “I remember getting my cooking badge and decided that wasn’t for me. But when I started doing things that were more technically oriented, it kind of sparked my interest in doing things with computers, which is what I ended up studying when I went to school.”

 

Encouragement and experience matter. Especially in fields like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) where roadblocks still exist for girls and women. The World Economic Forum estimates that women hold nearly half of all non-STEM jobs, but they represent only 29.3 percent of the workforce in STEM-related careers. There’s a need for more women, and there are a growing number of jobs available.

“We learned the value of taking on a challenge to try to get that badge,” she said, recalling the full range of experiences she encountered. “I remember getting my cooking badge and decided that wasn’t for me. But when I started doing things that were more technically oriented, it kind of sparked my interest in doing things with computers, which is what I ended up studying when I went to school.”

 

Encouragement and experience matter. Especially in fields like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) where roadblocks still exist for girls and women. The World Economic Forum estimates that women hold nearly half of all non-STEM jobs, but they represent only 29.3 percent of the workforce in STEM-related careers. There’s a need for more women, and there are a growing number of jobs available. The United States added 5.9 million STEM jobs between 2011 and 2020, according to the National Science Foundation.

STEM Resources

For more than seven decades, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has been advocating for women and girls in fields related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). SWE offers educational programs, scholarships, and more. A few links to help you get started:

SWENext:

Free programs for girls ages 5 through 18 and designed to inspire, educate and provide the resources girls need to pursue a STEM career. Find out More

STEM Pathways:

There are so many career options for girls interested in STEM. Explore them through this digital library that includes workbooks for more than two dozen STEM-related professions. Find out More

Scholarships:

Interested in pursuing a bachelor’s or graduate degree in engineering or engineering related fields? SWE offers an array of scholarships. Find out More

The United States added 5.9 million STEM jobs between 2011 and 2020, according to the National Science Foundation.

See how OnStar worked with the Girl Scouts to explore design thinking.

So, in 2020, GM granted the Girl Scouts $1 million to help encourage girls to explore STEM-related careers. That included developing STEM courses and curriculum for automotive badges. To help them earn those badges, OnStar invited more than two dozen Girl Scouts to GM’s Global Technical Center for an evening of learning and mentorship.

 

“Today in the world, a third of STEM jobs are covered by women,” Lynett said. “We'd love to see that be 50/50. We want to be able to make that possible.”

Try it at home!

Download the same lesson used at the Next Gen event to learn more about the design thinking that goes into creating an app.

Inspiring future STEM leaders

We worked with the Girl Scouts to develop an automotive badge series.

Our commitment to STEM education

Access to STEM education isn’t always equitable. We work with nonprofit organizations to increase opportunities for all.

Why OnStar is worth the money

As you get on the road, here are some ways that OnStar can help. Nine ways your OnStar plan pays off.

Inspiring future STEM leaders

We worked with the Girl Scouts to develop an automotive badge series.

Our commitment to STEM education

Access to STEM education isn’t always equitable. We work with nonprofit organizations to increase opportunities for all.

Why OnStar is worth the money

As you get on the road, here are some ways that OnStar can help. Nine ways your OnStar plan pays off.