Umicore supports “Da’s Geniaal” to bring young people closer to STEM

Stories

The next generation of innovators will play an important role for a technology oriented company like Umicore. Stimulating scientific interest and challenging young people to think about innovation are important links in building a sustainable future. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education gives students the tools to building that future.

"That’s brilliant” is meant to narrow the gap between STEM and young people. We are looking to encourage all children and youngsters aged 10 to 14 to uncover their inner scientist through age-appropriate challenges, little-known facts and experiments. After all, it is often around that age that youngsters discover what they most enjoy doing.”  -- Inge Van Antwerpen, Manager for Young Talent and Onboarding at Umicore

STEM-based education goes beyond science and mathematics to give students 21st-century skills, including media and technology literacy, communication, problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and more. These skills are the basis of innovation with the potential to change the world. Umicore is keen to encourage young people to dive into STEM, which is why we are supporting the “Da’s Geniaal” (“That’s Genius”) campaign. 

Da’s Geniaal is an alliance of 18 private companies that have joined forces in a platform where parents, schools and business can bring together different STEM campaigns to recruit young girls and boys into science. As a clean-tech company, Umicore is built on people who value STEM highly. 

Inge Van Antwerpen, Manager for Young Talent and Onboarding at Umicore, shares with us what the campaign entails: “Da’s Geniaal is meant to narrow the gap between STEM and young people. We are looking to encourage all children and youngsters aged 10 to 14 to uncover their inner scientist through age-appropriate challenges, little-known facts and experiments. After all, it is often around that age that youngsters discover what they most enjoy doing.”  

“We can inspire young people by telling our stories”, Inge explains.  “Why take a degree course in a STEM subject? Because doing so enables you to help build a sustainable world. A world in which we not only build batteries for electric cars, but also recycle them after they have reached the end of their service life. Because we recover gold and silver from mobile phones, which means we no longer need to extract those metals from mines. Because Umicore contributed to building the solar cells used in the Mars rover.” 

There are already a lot of programs around STEM that are aimed at young people, but they mainly tend to reach children of parents who themselves work in the world of STEM. “A lot of youngsters still have the persistent notion that STEM subjects are just for whiz kids or are mainly for boys. We are committed to taking an inclusive approach. With this project, we are aiming to reach the 90 % – all those children who have no idea what STEM actually involves and how much STEM subjects are embedded in their everyday lives. ‘Out of sight is out of mind!’ That is why Da’s Geniaal is pointing out the connection between STEM and finding solutions to societal challenges that are important to young people.”

Information about STEM and other initiatives are available for parents and teachers on the platform. Be inspired and go to

www.dasgeniaal.be

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