Getting kids interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is always on our minds at Neustar. We know first-hand that technology isn’t simply a portal to entertainment; it’s a pathway to the jobs that will offer a rewarding future and will power future innovations. This week, we participated in two events that are helping to bring awareness to the challenges posed by a lack of digital literacy—teaching kids to use technology responsibly and in so doing, , helping to spark an interest in technology that will lead students to choose careers in the field.

SxSWedu

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EverFi’s CEO Tom Davidson and Neustar’s Scott Deutchman at SxSWedu.

Neustar’s Scott Deutchman participated on a panel at this year’s SxSWedu conference in Austin, Texas with Tom Davidson, CEO of EverFi (our partner in bringing the My Digital Life program to schools in California, Kentucky and Virginia), and Jennie Niles, founder of the E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.

Entitled STEM: Not Your Mother’s Digital Divide, the panelists spoke to the importance of public-private partnerships in connecting our children’s access to technology and the power of that technology to spark the imagination. These partnerships can inspire our children and expose them to technology fields they may never have considered before. In so doing, we can build a pipeline of professionals ready for the job market.

“Neustar, which sits at the center of a very complex technical ecosystem is only as dependable and reliable as the people who build it, run it and improve it. This understanding has led us to believe it is vital for Neustar to play a role in promoting STEM education in schools,” Deutchman said. “Given the enormity of the challenge, we have a responsibility to work with educators, policymakers, and communities to improve and expand STEM education, and to help increase the number of Americans choosing to pursue careers in technology.”

SxSWedu, an education-focused spinoff of the larger SxSW festival in Austin, Texas, attracts educators, policy makers, edtech startups, and others to meet to discuss the future of education. It’s a fantastic venue to discuss education issues facing the country. But it’s also important to have these discussions locally.

The Uncommon Alliance: Women in STEM Conference

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Lisa Hook welcomes attendees to the Uncommon Alliance Conference.

In our own backyard, we are participating in The Uncommon Alliance: Women in STEM, a conference being hosted jointly by Georgetown Day School and E.L. Haynes Public Charter School, a high-performing public charter school dedicated to educational rigor around science and math.  The conference is designed to bring students, teachers, policy-makers and advocates together to discuss  ways to better support and attract  girls interested in STEM. Neustar CEO and President Lisa Hook, Chief Privacy Officer Becky Burr and technologist Angela Morrison will participate.

“It’s clear that exposure to these subjects must come at an early age in order to get students excited about math and science. We have to foster that interest throughout middle and high school. Our students—and especially girls— need to feel confident that they can have successful careers in these fields,“ said Lisa Hook.

At Neustar, we believe that we have a responsibility to work directly with students in the communities in which we work and live to help expand opportunities in technology and help increase the number of students who choose careers in this field. If we can take have that discussion on  the national stage, then all the better.