The NSTMF was founded nearly thirty years ago on the belief that scientific and technological advancement are potent agents of positive change. Our mission then was focused on celebrating the women, men, and companies who received the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation – the nation’s highest STEM honors.
In the last five years, the Foundation has evolved dramatically. Today, we not only celebrate STEM excellence, but we also work to build inclusive, diverse, and equitable STEM communities and the tangible benefits they have on scientific and technological progress.
Through our programming, the NSTMF pursues the following objectives.
Inspire a new generation of STEM leaders that reflects the diversity of our society.
Through our inSTEM program and the Unscripted Series, we aim to build resilient and diverse STEM communities at colleges and universities across the country. The high attrition rate of first-year STEM students, especially those from underrepresented groups, perpetuates a representation problem in collegiate and post-collegiate STEM communities. We believe that intervention at this point in a student’s journey is critical. Through effective mentoring, community building, and storytelling, we give students the tools and the inspiration they need to succeed.
Build public appreciation for the role of science and technology in our lives and the role of diversity in innovation.
Breakthroughs in science and technology benefit nearly every realm of human endeavor. From sport to medicine, photography to quantum computing, the impact of STEM pioneers cannot be overstated. We believe that broad appreciation for science and technology makes it easier for scientists and innovators to fund, apply, and earn recognition for their work. Moreover, we believe it is essential to shed light on the role diversity plays in achieving a scientific breakthrough or a technological advancement. Through our events, programming, and publications, we provide public forums for voices that have historically been left out of STEM conversations, showing a new generation that diverse STEM communities are strong STEM communities.
Honor those doing excellent work in STEM, advancing their field, and creating more equitable STEM communities.
For thirty years, the NSTMF has had the privilege of honoring the Laureates of the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation and we continue to honor these extraordinary individuals. Additionally, we are committed to highlighting the many other STEM leaders paving the way for a more equitable future. As we look to the future, we see a world where the new classes of NMS and NMTI Laureates reflect the diversity of our society. Achieving this goal will require intervention at every point in the STEM pipeline to keep people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and socio-economic statuses engaged in and valued for their work. And it will require talented role models and teachers who can support and identify with this new generation of scientists and innovators.