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Community Giving 3M TECH 3M U.S.

Science Plus
(Technical Teams Encouraging Career Horizons)

TECH aims to broaden students understanding of what science and engineering careers are – that is, who goes into these jobs and how did they get there?

Middle and high school is the time when most students ‘self-eliminate’ themselves from science career paths. Science and math can seem too hard, not tied to real life, and too much of a hassle. Typically students have few or no role models for what a scientific career could be or why it is fun and rewarding!

TECH offers classroom visits to provide students, especially women and minorities, with the opportunity to meet and interact with role models who enjoy technical careers. 3M volunteers from a variety of technical job positions, degree levels, and backgrounds participate. We communicate to students that “you don’t have to be a genius” to have a successful technical career. “I did it, you can too!”

Grade level:
Middle and High School

Geographical restrictions:
Twin Cities Metro and surrounding area

How does TECH work?:

The program operates as a once a school year match between the 3M TECH team and a science teacher at a middle or high school. In the fall, an invitation to register for the program is sent to teachers. Teachers fill out a ‘school questionnaire’ with basic information about their students and the class(es) they teach. Also in the fall, 3M technical employees volunteer to participate and are matched with requesting schools. Matches are announced in January; TECH visits are scheduled for the Spring semester, but some have been scheduled for the fall.

TECH teams are assigned on a first come, first serve basis. We are only able to send one team per school and in the interest of the volunteers we ask that you try to limit the school periods to 4 hours total.

What teachers have said about the program:

"Often following the 3M visit, 1 or 2 students per class change to a science career. I have many seniors and often they have undecided majors but after the speakers 1 or 2 state that they have decided on a science career."

"The TECH visits are great because for many of the students it is their only opportunity to talk to real-life scientists. They get to see that they are real people; they don't have to be geniuses to go into science."

Program Impact:

2011 62 school visits 6750 students
2012 51 school visits 7050 students
2013 48 school visits 6775 students
2014 64 school visits scheduled estimated 7500 students
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