This year, we are excited to announce that General Motors (GM) has partnered with the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) to generously provide Camp Invention® opportunities to children in need across the country and support our brand-new Road Rally module. Aligning with GM’s commitment to sustainability, Road Rally highlights the importance of developing innovative vehicles that adapt to different environments and run on alternative, environmentally friendly fuel sources.
Read below to learn more about this exciting partnership, and about GM’s values and plans to build a safer, more environmentally friendly and more inclusive future.
A Shared Mission
Both NIHF and GM believe in the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and its ability to develop today’s students into the innovators of tomorrow. Because of this, GM focuses on providing innovative programs like Camp Invention to diverse communities to increase the presence, persistence and achievements in STEM of those who historically have not had equitable access. At Camp Invention, children experience the value of persistence firsthand as they learn to recover from failure and overcome obstacles through a “create, test and retest” approach to learning.
By partnering with NIHF, GM is excited to provide youth with opportunities to explore their STEM identities and build their confidence through immersive, hands-on learning. For example, in the Road Rally module, children are immersed in hands-on explorations of nature to inspire their vehicle designs. They investigate how animals fuel up with food and use wind and water as power boosts as they move through their environments in different ways. Children then apply their discoveries to assemble a propeller-operated version and a pulley-operated version of their vehicles, and enhance them to travel in the air, under water, and on land.
With GM’s support, children form a strong STEM foundation, pursue their natural curiosity and find direct access to future career paths in the 21st-century economy. Through investments in programming like Camp Invention, the company will equip diverse communities with future industry-relevant skills and accelerate the path to an equitable STEM employment pipeline.
The Importance of Diversity in STEM and Innovation
As industry experts, GM has in-depth knowledge of the evolving workforce market needs and is uniquely positioned to inspire children and educators through Camp Invention. “Bringing industry directly to classrooms or afterschool learning programs has been a focus of ours at GM. We have a unique opportunity to help bring equitable access to STEM education, infusing it with the current and future skills and needs of the job market,” Kelsey Gaines, STEM education program officer, said.
GM believes that creating an all-electric future and leading an equitable and inclusive transition to a net-zero-carbon future can only be achieved through embracing and investing in diverse perspectives and talent. For true and lasting change to occur, both NIHF and GM believe that diverse STEM talent with varied backgrounds, skillsets and experiences will be needed to help create, innovate, and inspire. In Road Rally, children are introduced to the inventions and stories of National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees who come from a wide variety of backgrounds and talents, such as Margaret Wu (Synthetic Lubricants), Garrett Morgan (Three-Way Traffic Signal) and Mary Anderson (Windshield Wiper).
GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra became the first female CEO in the automotive industry in 2014. GM’s dedication to diversity is seen in its hiring practices – for example its commitment to OneTen, which is a coalition of 30-plus companies and leaders that aim to train, hire and advance 1 million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement. GM’s ability to meet the needs of its diverse and global customer base is closely tied to the diversity and inclusiveness of its employees, and the company is committed to fostering a culture that celebrates its workers’ differences.
A Commitment to Sustainability and Safety
GM believes that climate change represents a significant challenge for our generation. In keeping with this conviction, through its Carbon Neutral Plan, the company plans to make its global products and operations carbon neutral by 2040. Additionally, to help reduce emissions, it plans to source 100% renewable energy in the United States by 2030 and globally by 2035. In Road Rally, children explore alternative fuel sources and sustainability through the lens of a very unique “plantimal” called the green sea slug. An animal that eats one meal of algae and then never again, it is able to incorporate the algae’s DNA into its own and solely rely on sunlight for energy. Sustainability plays a large part in how GM builds its cars as well. From recycled metals to suede, the company is planning to use at least 50% sustainable material content in its vehicles by 2035. By 2025, the carmaker plans to offer 30 new electric vehicles globally and is working to help bring us closer to a world with zero emissions.
Through Periscope, a new GM safety brand that combines research, technology and advocacy for its vision of a future of zero crashes, the company views safety holistically. It does this by developing initiatives to support safe driving and creating technologies that can help mitigate crashes and accidents.
Learn More About General Motors
We would like to thank GM for its support and confidence in NIHF’s mission and the impact of our education programs. To learn more about GM’s latest initiatives, we invite you to visit its website.