In conversation: Caroline King and Dr. Gary Gilliland talk STEM education

Washington STEM CEO and Hutch president and director discuss how to set students up for success in rapidly evolving fields
Video by Robert Hood / Fred Hutch News Service

Earlier this year, Washington STEM CEO Caroline King and Fred Hutch President and Director Dr. Gary Gilliland got to talking. The fellow Geek of the Year finalists, sitting together in the front row of the 2018 GeekWire Awards, soon discovered a shared dedication to supporting science, technology, education and math education.

The pair recently sat down again, this time in a Fred Hutch training lab, to talk about empowering students from diverse backgrounds to succeed in STEM fields — areas evolving so quickly that “85 percent of the jobs that [will] exist in 2030 don't exist today,” King noted.

To prepare young people for the economy of the future, Gilliland emphasized, leaders and educators must help students to be flexible. “The people who do well have to be adaptable and to move with that change, because it does move quickly,” he said.

King and Gilliland also spoke about how people in the business, nonprofit and education sectors can work together to spark passion in students and support their success. “The opportunity for industry just to open up their doors and bring young people in is a real game-changer,” King said.

Watch their full conversation in the video above.

Get and give STEM support

Opportunities abound, both for students interested in making a mark on the world through a STEM career and for STEM professionals ready to help cultivate tomorrow’s innovators.

Start exploring the Hutch’s education and training programs below, and check out the host of resources and ways to show your support that Washington STEM offers.

Science education at Fred Hutch

Fred Hutch has a long history of science education and training to support the development of the diverse next generation of biomedical researchers, including:

  • Summer internship programs for high school and undergraduate students;
  • Our Science Education Partnership, which has been fostering partnerships between research scientists and secondary school science teachers in Washington state since 1991 — and reaching hundreds of thousands of students in the process;
  • A trio of Pathways to Cancer Research programs for:
    • Rising 10th and 11th graders — the Pathways Research Explorers summer immersion program;
    • First-, second-and third-year college students — two-year, mentored Pathways Undergraduate Researchers internships; and
    • Secondary science teachers — the Hutch Teacher Fellowship.
  • A Girls Who Code Club, in partnership with the national Girls Who Code organization; and
  • Graduate programs and fellowship opportunities.


What are you doing to support young people interested in STEM opportunities? How do you see the future of STEM unfolding? Join Gilliland and King's conversation on LinkedIn.

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