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STEM education

Thermo Fisher Scientific is committed to inspiring a new generation of innovators that will allow us to continue to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. Through educational programming and partnerships, we provide opportunities for our colleagues to engage with the communities in which they live and work to share their knowledge and experience.

Signature STEM education programs


Research shows that students begin losing interest in STEM-related subjects around 11-13 years of age, which is why we have designed our STEM education outreach to focus on connecting with students during this critical time. We realize that many educational institutions lack the resources to bridge the subject matter taught within a textbook to real-world applications. As an industry leader, we believe it is our responsibility to help make this connection, ensuring continued interest in STEM subjects and careers in future generations.


Our signature STEM education programs connect students and colleagues through hands-on and team-based activities that highlight our technologies, make connections to careers in STEM and demonstrate how our company impacts the world. Our programs: Innovation Nation, STEM Design Challenge, STEMcredible Kits, and Career Connections, are available to our colleagues to implement in their local communities around the world. These activities can be delivered through individual efforts or through team events planned through our Community Action Councils and Employee Resource Groups.

Supporting STEM Education at home


We realize that in these unprecedented times educators are being asked to provide a curriculum to students like never before – virtually. We have customized several of our Innovation Nation activities to allow them to be conducted in the home environment. In addition to activity instructions, our worksheets also include a look at the science behind the activity, discussion questions, and connections to careers. To request a live demonstration of one of the activities below or career discussion for your students by one of our scientists,  contact

2020 impact at a glance




STEM events


Participating students


Participating countries

STEM program reach decreased in 2020 as a result of the ongoing global pandemic

Signature STEM

Innovation nation program

The Innovation Nation program provides our colleagues with presentations, lab materials, and instructions to guide students through a variety of hands-on and digital activities exploring concepts in life science, physics, chemistry, and computer science. Through this program, students learn about our technologies as well as the different types of careers found within our industry.

STEM design challenge

The STEM Design Challenge gives our colleagues a framework for hosting an engineering design competition at a local school or non-profit organization. Students work in teams to design solutions to a specific challenge utilizing the K’NexTM Construction Toy System. Challenges range from creating a nano- robot to treat cancer, to designing a machine that can remove trash from the ocean. Throughout the Challenge, students learn the importance of teamwork and good communication while presenting their designs to a panel of Thermo Fisher colleagues who serve as judges during the final competition.

STEM-Credible kits overview

Through our STEM-credible Kit program, we donate kits packed with reusable lab aprons, chemical splash safety goggles, and gloves, as well as lab notebooks, to local schools and non-profit organizations. The program also serves a two-fold purpose for our colleagues: they have an opportunity to utilize our Practical Process Improvement (PPI) Business System principles to optimize the packing of these safety kits and it is a meaningful team-building activity. 

Career connections

In 2019, we added a fourth signature STEM education program to provide students with information about different types of STEM careers and the tools to launch their career search. Our new Career Connections program arms our colleagues with resources to partner with students and facilitates exercises ranging from mock interviews, résumé building, panel discussions, and career worksheets. These activities introduce students to different career paths while exploring the varied skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive world.

In 2019, we piloted a new career-based activity that provides students a simulated experience of a real-world issue that our colleagues in Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs previously addressed to better serve our customers. In the simulation, the decisions that the students make have a direct impact on money, time, and customer satisfaction. This pilot activity is the first in a series of job simulation activities that will allow students to work through real problems encountered in the workplace. 

STEM partnerships

Our partners help us deliver on our commitment to inspire a new generation of innovators through STEM education involvement. These partnerships not only support students, but also provide colleagues with rewarding volunteer opportunities. Learn more about how we collaborate with STEM education non-profits and universities through our giving and early talent development programs. 

Boys and girls club of america

Our partners help us deliver on our commitment to inspire a new generation of innovators through STEM education involvement. These partnerships not only support students but also provide colleagues with rewarding volunteer opportunities.

Learn more about how we collaborate with STEM education non-profits and universities through our giving and early talent development programs. 

2019 ideas in action

In 2019, we participated in an “ideation session” with the BGCA to support the transition of the DIY STEM curriculum to an online platform. In 2020, the BGCA plans to launch a digital version of the DIY STEM program on its MyFuture website which will feature videos showcasing Thermo Fisher colleagues and their different careers. Through this safe, fun, mobile-friendly social platform, children will have access to more than 150 BGCA activities and programs, including STEM activities, digital literacy, social and emotional learning, and visual arts. Moving the DIY STEM program to digital delivery enables the BGCA to reach more youth and provides higher quality data to respond to student trends. 

China youth development fund

Our award-winning partnership with the China Youth Development Foundation (CYDF) inspires interest in scientific careers and cultivates China’s future innovative talent by bringing hands-on lab activities to schoolchildren across the country. With activity kits sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific, students learn about the science behind the ripening of bananas, the properties of rainwater, the spoiling of cooked rice, and more. Since 2015, thousands of colleagues have volunteered to strengthen our partnership with CYDF by packing kits, conducting science experiments in schools, and providing home delivery of activity materials to students in rural areas. 

Mobile bio-class

The Mobile Bio-Class is a hands-on science lab that brings cutting-edge technology and current life science practices to high school students across Lithuania and Estonia. Established in 2011 in partnership with Vilnius University, the program has reached over 50% of Lithuania’s high schools. During the five- hour lesson, a Thermo Fisher scientist, alongside seven university students, leads participants through activities such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), DNA electrophoresis, and visualization while encouraging safe laboratory practices. All equipment and reagents used throughout the experiments are manufactured by Thermo Fisher and donated to the program. 

Students 2 science

Since 2015 we have partnered with Students 2 Science (S2S), a non-profit organization based in New Jersey whose mission is to inspire, motivate and educate elementary, middle, and high school students to pursue careers in STEM subjects. Through our partnership with S2S, we offer our colleagues an opportunity to connect with S2S instructors and assist them to remotely lead activities with students around the globe. The V-Lab Program, which is offered in more than 200 languages (including American Sign Language), provides lesson plans, science kits, how-to videos, and 45 unique experiments designed for ages 10-18, such as electroplating coins, extracting DNA from a mystery substance and purifying water.


Thermo Fisher’s African Heritage Employee Resource Group (AHERG) piloted the V-Lab Program in 2019 at Urban Impact, an organization that has been serving the youth of Pittsburgh, Pa.’s, North Side for 25 years, and Envision Science Academy, a K-8 STEAM public charter school in Raleigh, N.C.


We also provide S2S with in-kind support. In 2018, S2S opened its Newark Technology Center, which provides more than 32,000 students with access to a commercial-grade laboratory where they work to investigate critical world issues with the scientists who volunteer there. Thermo Fisher has provided more than $1.6 million worth of laboratory equipment to support the Newark center as well as a second facility in East Hanover, N.J. 

STEM in action

Global STEM day

Encouraging and inspiring students in the primary and secondary grade levels to engage in STEM activities is a core component of our community engagement strategy. For the past two years throughout the month of November, we held a campaign to drive STEM education outreach activities as part of Thermo Fisher’s Global STEM Day (a nod to National STEM Day in the U.S. on November 8). The goal of the campaign is to promote our STEM education programs and encourage our colleagues to reach out to their local communities and excite students about careers in STEM. Each year we feature a hands-on science activity that links to a specific Thermo Fisher career that any colleague can do at home with their own children or with a local student group. 

2020 Global STEM Day highlights


STEM events


Participating colleagues


Volunteer hours

STEM program reach decreased in 2020 as a result of the ongoing global pandemic

Science festivals

As part of our strategy to inspire primary and secondary learners in STEM subjects, Thermo Fisher supports multiple sciences and engineering festivals in cities where we have a large employee base including Boston, Mass., Cambridge, Mass., San Francisco, Calif., San Diego, Calif., and Washington, D.C. These events are free to the public through the support of corporate sponsorships and feature hundreds of hands-on STEM education activities appropriate for the entire family. At the Thermo Fisher booth, our colleagues provide festival attendees an opportunity to participate in hands-on science activities that are part of our signature Innovation Nation program.