Investing in Our High-tech Future

“Watch what I can do, see who I become.” That’s the can-do motto of fourth-graders learning robotics, computer science and engineering skills at six East Austin schools over the summer. These hard-working students are part of a local movement to foster home-grown technology talent. 

Currently, our region’s demand for technology workers far exceeds the supply. Hiring STEM workers from outside Central Texas contributes to high housing costs, traffic, gentrification and community destabilization. Yet, promising students from low-income families tend to fall behind while school is out, a disparity that adds up and limits future opportunities.

In 2011, a group of individuals, charitable foundations and high-tech companies who care about local STEM education envisioned a solution. The Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub now provides nearly $1 million to educate 4,000 students in Austin and Central Texas in high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) hands-on coursework. The STEM HUB is actively developing a local STEM ecosystem following national best practices. 

Austin Community Foundation is part of the STEM HUB, founded by the KDK Harman Foundation, and hosts the grants process. In addition, we offer our fundholders the unique opportunity to be part of the STEM Hub. Many fundholders have made their wealth in the technology sector and feel strongly that strong STEM education is key to our region’s economic sustainability. 

To further fuel STEM education, every gift made to the STEM Investment Hub is being matched 1:1 by Austin Community Foundation up to $10,000.

“The Foundation connects people who want to give with local causes they care about,” says Mike Nellis, CEO. “We also seek ways to close the opportunity gap in Central Texas. We all stand to benefit when our students are well-prepared to succeed in our thriving local economy.”

Learn more about the Central Texas Summer STEM Investment Hub