Umicore supports “Da’s Geniaal” to nudge young people to go for a science degree

Regional website Belgium

STEM is an international acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Chances are you're thinking of engineers and mathematicians. But there is so much more to STEM, for instance, the cameras used to broadcast the TV news, or the modern equipment that saves lives in hospitals. Umicore is keen to give young people a gentle nudge towards embracing a STEM degree course, which is why we are supporting the “Da’s Geniaal” (“That’s Genius”) scheme. 

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 schemes to interest young girls and boys in science. Inge Van Antwerpen, Manager for Young Talent and Onboarding, shares with us what the scheme 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.”  As a high-tech company, Umicore is built on people who value STEM highly. That is why Umicore wants to give this type of social initiative every chance of success.

“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 schemes 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.”

Parents and teachers will find a lot of information about STEM and other initiatives on the platform. Be inspired and go to

www.dasgeniaal.be 

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