CME Group Foundation Partners with ISTC for STEM Ed Program and Challenge

Student mentees from Lane Tech High School at CME Group headquarters.

For the past four years, CME Group Foundation has funded the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition’s (ISTC) STEM education program, which connects classrooms with companies to solve real world problems while preparing the next generation of STEM talent.

Mentorship is the two-way exchange of new ideas covering ‘what’s already been done’ and ‘why it was done that way,’

Jonathan Morley
Software engineer, CME Group

“Mentorship is the two-way exchange of new ideas covering ‘what’s already been done’ and ‘why it was done that way,’” says Jonathan Morley, CME Group software engineer, who was recently named ITSC's Mentor of the Month. “Building these relationships into the classroom curriculum is a huge opportunity for students, and our mentors are always appreciative of the relationships they build.”

Since last fall, CME Group employees have volunteered their time to mentor students at Lane Tech through the ISTC STEM challenge. Following a training program, mentors are paired with two student teams of five to seven students each. The mentors host bi-weekly meetings with each team, answering questions and offering support as students work through their challenges.

At the end of the school year, each school selects one team to represent their hard work at the STEM Challenge Showcase held at the Chicago Cultural Center. This year’s team presented on how to create an easy way for people to learn about and understand market data through a website and virtual assistance tool. However, the real prize comes in the form of the mentor/mentee relationship and what they each take away from the experience.

After the STEM Challenge Showcase, all students who participated from Lane Tech were invited to CME Group’s headquarters, where they learned more about the company, heard from speakers, and were treated to lunch for their hard work. We believe it is critical that students see the spaces in which they aspire to work and that someday we will be lucky enough to call them our colleagues.

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