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Deloitte convenes AWS, Ballmer Group, Elenco, National Math & Science Initiative, Siemens and Wichita State University to advance STEM education for students in underserved communities

October 18, 2023
New York, USA

The Smart Rover is assembled and shipped from Deloitte’s Smart Factory @ Wichita (Image courtesy of Deloitte)
  • Program is active in 75+ U.S. middle and high schools; more than 2,230 rover kits have impacted 10,000+ students, with plans for national expansion.
  • Ecosystem of top organizations and educational institutions come together to enhance learning opportunities and provide new pathways to children who may not otherwise have access to robust STEM resources.
  • First year of Believers has shown to increase student interest in STEM: Students in the Believers program reported they enjoyed engaging in hands-on learning (70%), programming (60%) and working with technology (60%).

Deloitte has published a press room on how Siemens is working with changemakers at the Smart Factory @ Wichita to advance STEM education for students in underserved communities.

Deloitte today announced that it has assembled an ecosystem of changemakers to bring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to middle and high school students in underserved communities across the U.S. through a new program, Smart Factory Believers. Together with AWS, Ballmer Group, Elenco Electronics, National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI), Siemens Digital Industries Software and Wichita State University (WSU), Deloitte aims to create high-quality STEM education programs for students in diverse and underserved communities.

Smart Factory Believers is the purpose-driven education and skills program created for The Smart Factory @ Wichita, Deloitte’s U.S. immersive experience center and proving ground for next-generation, digitally-driven manufacturing — located on WSU’s Innovation Campus. The program is designed to help remove systemic barriers that prevent students from accessing STEM learning and empower teachers with the skills needed to provide education for students that help them visualize and achieve jobs in the manufacturing industry. The Smart Factory Believers program is an extension of Deloitte's own purpose to build pathways of opportunity and create an equitable workforce of the future.

Why this matters: Talent, instructional and access gaps
There is a critical gap between the technology and manufacturing jobs that need to be filled and the talent pool able to fill them. According to a “Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute” report, this skills gap may leave 2.4 million manufacturing jobs unfilled between 2018 and 2028. At the same time, Deloitte research shows that only 10% of the manufacturing workforce identifies as a minority, and the National Science Foundation reports that less than one-quarter of the Black (18%) and Hispanic (20%) workforce have careers in a STEM field. Further, according to America Succeeds, financially disadvantaged and minority students are less likely to have access to high-quality STEM resources.

The Deloitte-led Smart Factory Believers program creates an opportunity to bring together these gaps in access to STEM resources and instruction by facilitating equitable access to education, teacher training and driving interest in STEM careers — particularly those in manufacturing — to help resolve the workforce shortage and inspire the next generation of diverse talent to engineer the future.

Smart Factory Believers: Diversity in the workforce starts in the classroom
The Believers program provides students and teachers in Title I-eligible schools with hands-on resources, including Smart Rover kits, a customized version of Elenco's popular Snap Circuits® R/C Snap Rover educational vehicle building kit, a culturally responsive curriculum and robust educator training to give students a hands-on way to learn how to build, code and operate a fully functioning mobile robot. Once students build the Smart Rover, they can follow guided project challenges and lessons from the NMSI curriculum to power it using electrical circuits. The curriculum also helps them apply Python coding language to program their robot to complete various tasks, including autonomous driving and image detection. The program provides schools with math and science materials aligned to Common Core standards, teacher lesson plans, student guides, video modules and all the technology accessories required for the projects.

“Siemens is proud to be part of Deloitte's visionary Smart Factory Believers program, furthering our commitment to advanced manufacturing. Our dedication isn't just about providing the supporting technologies; it's about building the workforce of tomorrow and shaping more equitable communities. Together, we're ensuring that the promise of STEM education, and the opportunities it unlocks, is accessible to everyone."
— Barbara Humpton, President and CEO of Siemens USA

Read the full announcement on Deloitte's newsroom.