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From academic pre-season to post-doc degrees: 3M invests $2.4M to support the STEM pipeline

Thursday, December 6, 2018 12:19 pm CST

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Group of 3Mers in front of the 3M career fair booth at SWE 2018


Thousands of female professionals, students of all ages and educators from across the U.S. convened in Minneapolis, Minn., at the largest gathering for women in engineering and technology – the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Annual Conference October 17-20. Close to 100 3M employees from all over the country attended, and many spoke on panels during the event.


3M has been a sponsor of SWE for many years, and in 2018 we upped our support of this premier event for women in STEM. A 3M grant of $100,000 went toward the SWE Annual Conference, including professional development programs for college students and working engineers, as well as a career fair booth to recruit top talent to 3M.


3Mgives, 3M’s philanthropic arm, also awarded $2.4 million in grants last quarter to support a pipeline of diverse STEM talent – from incoming undergrads to PhDs. Along with SWE, here are some additional examples of where we’re investing to make a difference:

  • Georgia Tech’s Challenge program, aka “Academic Pre-Season,” offers incoming students an opportunity to prepare for their college experience. Along with participating in courses that simulate their first year, students gain exposure to resources and networks that will support their success. The 3M grant enabled more individuals to participate in this program, which is targeted to students from underrepresented groups who may not have had access to such opportunities before.
  • STEM scholarships for diverse undergraduate studentsattending the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, University of Wisconsin and Georgia Tech enable the students to develop professional skills and participate in research programs as they pursue STEM degrees.
  • GEM Fellowships support graduate students from underrepresented populations in earning advanced degrees and gaining practical experience in engineering and applied science fields. The grant will bring a fellow to 3M for an advanced-level internship and will also enable GEM fellows to attend national GEM conferences. 

Education is one of 3Mgives’ three focus areas for giving, along with community and the environment. 3Mgives’ grant cycle focuses on a different area each quarter:

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