United Way of Metropolitan Dallas annual campaign chairs Rich and Mary Templeton will join volunteers from Texas Instruments, Mr. Cooper and TXU Energy to engage local students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.  The Templetons will join 180 corporate volunteers to lead nearly 400 students in STEM-related interactive projects at Richardson’s Lloyd V. Berkner High School on Tuesday, April 9. Presented by Mr. Cooper and Texas Instruments, United Way’s STEM in the Schoolyard event is designed to inspire student imaginations and spark early interest in STEM careers.

“A strong foundation in STEM education builds critical thinking skills and ensures that the next generation of innovators is capable of understanding, embracing and creating technologies that improve our lives,” said Rich Templeton, chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments. “Mary and I believe  that sparking  early interest in STEM  is critical for our community and our future workforce.”

STEM fields are projected to drive the U.S. economy and grow by 18 percent, doubling the projected growth of other fields. Median earnings for workers in science and engineering fields are more than double those for all U.S. workers. Yet statistics show local youth are not performing at high enough levels on key educational indicators to be ready to seize higher-paying positions. United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ community scorecards show just 40 percent of eighth-graders in Dallas County met state standards in science, while just 44 percent of students met state standards in Algebra 1, a key predictor of high school graduation and college readiness.  

“United Way is committed to better prepare and engage young minds toward the pursuit of STEM-related education and careers,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “With the help of committed volunteers, we’re bridging the STEM skills gap for all North Texas students and empowering a prepared workforce of tomorrow.”

With help from the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and CircuitScribe, STEM in the Schoolyardvolunteers will lead sixth-graders in hands-on learning experiences with real-world technology, including facial recognition software and coding robots. Students will draw functioning electrical circuits on paper, design wind turbines and learn lessons in financial literacy and mathematics.

The STEM in the Schoolyardevent is part of the United Way Volunteer Series presented by Mr. Cooper and Texas Instruments, leveraging collective volunteer power to address community challenges in education, financial stability and health. Corporate partners engage in relevant, rewarding and innovative volunteer opportunities to get real results.

“We’re proud to help increase access to opportunities and education, preparing North Texas students for the millions of STEM jobs that exist today and the many more that will be created as those fields continue to advance,” said Sridhar Sharma, Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, Mr. Cooper. “The Mr. Cooper team is happy to do our part and invest time and resources to give North Texas children a better chance to reach their full potential.”