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Clarity and charity: boosting the STEM sector

Since the company was formed in 2012, Clarity has worked with charities such as Alive and Kicking and Restless Development with the aim of doing our bit to make the world a better place. But as a small company trying to establish itself and grow a sustainable business it hasn’t always been easy to dedicate as much time and resource to charity as we would have liked.

This year, however, we are giving our charitable efforts new impetus and direction. We’ve now connected with partner charities in both the UK, where we were founded, and the US, where we have a fast-growing office in New York. We’ve also carefully selected charities where we think our skills and expertise can help to make a real difference.

The issue of education is one that is very close to our hearts. As an agency that works primarily with technology companies we have a deep understanding of the issue of skills shortages in both the UK and US when it comes to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects. In both countries there simply aren’t enough students retaining an interest in these areas or achieving meaningful qualifications that would set them up for careers in these industries. Increasingly talent needs to be brought in from outside the country or businesses need to relocate some or all of their operations overseas in order to meet this shortage.

Within the STEM sector, the shortage of electronics graduates is particularly acutely felt in the UK. This is why Clarity has begun working with the UK Electronic Skills Foundation. The UKESF encourages young people to study electronics and pursue careers in the sector. It also connects the most capable electronics students at top UK universities with leading employers. It provides electronics kits and tuition sessions for schools, organises taster courses in partnerships with universities for sixth-form students and provides bursaries for students who want to study electronics at university.

We’ll be working with UKESF to produce content, boost social media efforts and publicise an event it will be holding in July to celebrate the five year anniversary of its first scholarship graduates. We hope to play a significant part in helping UKESF meet its objectives of doubling the number of UK undergraduates studying electronics in the next five years; as well as to increase the number of female undergraduates by 50%.

So, if you're an organisation looking to find more electronics graduates, a University looking to match up electronics graduates with suitable job opportunities, or an electronics student who wants to get involved in the scheme, you can find out more about UKESF on its website.

In the US, Clarity has begun working with the Mouse organisation, a nonprofit that teaches children STEM skills and how those skills can impact the world around them. Its mission is to create technology with a purpose and it is also dedicated to bridging the diversity gaps in the STEM fields. The majority of its outreach benefits underprivileged children from underserved communities, who often are Hispanic or African-American and female. The Mouse organisation is works with hundreds of US schools and over the past 20 years has impacted the lives of over 40,000 children. Mouse activities teach coding, 3D design, graphic design, circuitry, electronics, robotics among many other topics. It has set up kids with a foundation to become proficient in important STEM skills and leaders in their communities, creating a social impact. Past Mouse kids have gone on to attend America’s top universities and have built careers around the skills they established in their Mouse days.

Clarity will be working with Mouse to promote its upcoming 20th anniversary event as well as its STEM competition, Emoti-Con. We will identify opportunities and work to place stories based on Mouse, the kids, and those who have had a significant impact in the Mouse organisation. This is all in an effort to help Mouse accomplish its goal of becoming a national leader in K-12 youth development. It also wants to continue to be an example of diversity in STEM and is actively working towards extending the percentage of young women participating in Mouse from 37% to 50% by 2020. Ultimately, Mouse hopes to increase its funding through grants and other charitable donations so that it is able to expand into more schools and establish Mouse offices in other US cities. Educators, parents, and other foundations interested in Mouse can find more information here and those interested in bringing STEM education into classrooms can donate here.

We’ll be posting further updates on our work with UKESF and Mouse in the near future so watch this space.


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