For Bob Marshall, CEO of Earth Networks and member of Maryland Business Roundtable’s Board of Directors, his corporation’s investment in STEM education makes good business sense.
“Earth Networks is all about STEM. If we can find good STEM-capable employees, we hire them,” Bob said. “It is in our self-interest to have an education system that is second to none and delivering students that are ready to deliver STEM capacity in the workforce. But it’s also the right thing to do.”
Earth Networks, the parent company of the popular WeatherBug brand of mobile apps, operates the largest and most comprehensive weather observation, lightning detection, and greenhouse gas monitoring networks in the world. It provides weather intelligence to organizations that need data to make operational decisions. The Germantown, Md.-based firm serves numerous industries, including aviation, broadcast media, energy and utilities, government agencies at all levels, schools, and the transportation sector.
Earth Networks finds ‘signals’ – valuable, meaningful intelligence — in this sea of big data, Bob says, collecting data from thousands of sensors around the world and turning this data into intelligence to help customers in the U.S. and around in world optimize operations and make better safety related decisions.
“There is no greater need out there today than to have STEM-capable people who can work with the vast amounts of data that are coming off the ‘internet of things,’” Bob says. “Virtually every single thing on the planet is connected to the internet. [Cisco CEO John Chambers] just said that over 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet in 2020 — homes, watches, clothing, all creating a huge amount of data in real-time. But for the data to be useful, you have to be able to find the signal in the noise. That’s why STEM education is so important to us.”