ST. LOUIS, MO. (April 20, 2022) – World Wide Technology (WWT), a leading technology solutions provider based in the St. Louis metropolitan area, recently hosted its seventh annual STEM Student Forum. WWT employs thousands of professionals in STEM fields across the globe and understands the urgency of supporting future technology leaders.

The STEM Student Forum is an initiative dedicated to educating high school students on the importance of STEM disciplines and the opportunities they present, while also creating positive change in the St. Louis metropolitan area. 

This year's program included 24 local high schools with 174 participating students. Each school's team was paired with and supported by one of the 35+ WWT mentors.

Teams were challenged to identify an area of opportunity within their school community to fortify an inclusive culture, and were then tasked with creating a technology-based solution – while also considering equity and promoting belonging.​

"Once again I am inspired by the future of STEM! WWT is so honored to have the privilege to host and inspire the next generation of leaders!" said Ann Marr, Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources at WWT and one of the judges for the event. "We have hosted this program for 7 years, and this year we had two former program participants who have joined WWT as full-time employees and serve as mentors. It has been a pleasure to witness their journey from high school students to technology professionals, and we look forward to continuing to watch this program shape more young minds."

Pattonville High School was awarded first prize and will receive a $10,000 grant to implement a technology-based add-on to the school's attendance system. This solution is intended to assist teachers and faculty with navigating uncommon or uniquely spelled names, ultimately creating an equitable student experience and promoting belonging. This system also allows students to select their correct pronouns.  

"It was an honor to be a part of the WWT STEM Student Forum and have a front row seat to the future of this industry. The students displayed tremendous rigor and discipline from day one. Furthermore, I had the luxury of watching students utilize the right attitude and passionately create a technology-based solution to promote an inclusive culture while also promoting belonging at their schools," said  Matt Hernando, Associate Order Manager at WWT and Pattonville's team mentor. "The skillsets developed during this time to work in teams, compose an innovative solution to real life problems and communicate it to a panel is an invaluable experience that produces high performing individuals for the future."

John Burroughs School was recognized with a $5,000 second place prize. Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience received $2,500 for placing third. Hazelwood West High School received $2,000 for placing fourth. 

"It was so inspiring to witness the innovation, creativity, and leadership demonstrated by the STEM Student Forum teams this year." said Bob Ferrell, Executive Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at WWT and one of the judges for the event. "I've had the pleasure of watching the program grow and develop, and I love seeing teams smoothly navigate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) with their thoughtful and inclusive solutions. As these students develop the future of STEM, I'm continually amazed by how naturally they incorporate equity and inclusivity. Thank you to all of our volunteers who continue to make SSF a terrific experience, and congratulations to all teams on their outstanding work!"

Participating students, mentors and judges

In all, WWT awarded more than $40,000 to local schools to advance STEM programs in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The schools that participated in the 2022 STEM Student Forum included:

  • Christian Brothers College High School
  • Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience
  • Duchesne High School
  • Fulton High School
  • Hazelwood West High School
  • Jennings High School
  • John Burroughs School
  • Ladue Horton Watkins High School
  • Lindbergh High School
  • Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School
  • Nerinx Hall High School
  • Oakville High School
  • Pattonville High School
  • Parkway Spark! High School
  • Ritenour High School
  • Rockwood Summit High School
  • Rosati-Kain High School
  • South Tech High School
  • St. John Vianney High School
  • STEAM Academy at McCluer South-Berkeley High School
  • Thomas Jefferson School
  • Ursuline Academy
  • Whitfield School
  • Webster Groves High School

Parents also shared enthusiasm for the event: "It was a great experience for my son! He is a pretty quiet kid. The opportunity to work on this project, present on the video, and then stand in front of the judges and answer questions was a fantastic learning opportunity for him. Thank you to you, the mentors, and World Wide Technology for creating this program and supporting the students and schools so generously!"

About World Wide Technology:
World Wide Technology (WWT), a global technology solutions provider with $14.5 billion in annual revenue, combines the power of strategy, execution and partnership to accelerate transformational outcomes for large public and private organizations around the world. Through its Advanced Technology Center, a collaborative ecosystem of the world's most advanced hardware and software solutions, WWT helps customers and partners conceptualize, test and validate innovative technology solutions for the best business outcomes and then deploys them at scale through its 4 million square feet of global warehousing, distribution and integration space. With over 8,000 employees and more than 55 locations around the world, WWT's culture, built on a set of core values and established leadership philosophies, has been recognized 11 years in a row by Fortune and Great Place to Work® for its unique blend of determination, innovation and leadership for diversity and inclusion. With this culture at its foundation, WWT bridges the gap between business and technology to make a new world happen for its customers, partners and communities.  

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Rebecca Morrison 
World Wide Technology