The 11th Baker Forum will take place this Friday in Harman Hall of the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center and will focus on literacy in STEM education. Former Cal Poly President Warren Baker will be among the panelists.
Literacy in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) — that’s the goal of this year’s Baker Forum, titled “Future of STEM Education and the Importance of Educating Today’s Youth.”
“What we’re hearing at a national level is that we’re potentially facing a very serious shortage of expertise in STEM areas,” presidential faculty fellow and philosophy professor Rachel Fernflores said. “So we need to educate thousands more students than we are.”
The Cal Poly President’s Cabinet established the Baker Forum in 2002 to recognize 20 years of service by former Cal Poly President Warren Baker and his wife, Carly. The forum takes place every two years,
This year’s Baker Forum will be Friday, immediately before the dedication of the new Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics.
Educating students in STEM begins in kindergarten, Fernflores said. The point isn’t to make mathematicians or engineers out of everyone, just to make people “STEM literate.”
William Swanson, the chairman and CEO of Raytheon — a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets worldwide — will moderate the event.
Fernflores said everyone on the panel is interested in diversity related issues, K-12 STEM literacy, STEM issues in higher education and education equity.
“We know that some populations don’t have the same access to education as other populations,” she said. “This is something we’re going to need to fix and address.”
The forum is free and open to the public. There will also be a question and answer session following the forum.
Panelists include 2013 mechanical engineering alumna Silvia Aguilar, former Cal Poly President Warren J. Baker, President and Executive Director of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for Science Guillermo Fernandez and Executive Director of the California Council on Science and Technology Susan Hackwood.
The forum will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Harman Hall in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center on Friday, prior to the dedication of the Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics, which takes place from 3:30 to 6 p.m.