If you want to see unlimited potential, look at a classroom of kids anywhere around the world.
Potential is what we see every time we host an Operation Discovery program, which we designed to expose middle school-aged children to the wonder and excitement of science, technology, engineering and math, often abbreviated as STEM.
Our specialty is health technology, and we want to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers to enter the field and carry our vision into the future.
Our youth development program, Operation Discovery, first began in 2002. Today, this Abbott Fund program operates in middle schools in six countries. To date, more than 8,000 students have participated in China, Germany, Ireland, Singapore, South Korea and the U.S.
Operation Discovery programs are typically held in one of Abbott's research and development labs. Students work with Abbott experts to explore nutrition, diagnostics and other real-world technologies — areas that reflect Abbott's innovation to improve lives around the world. By offering experiences they might not get in the classroom, the program encourages students to see science not just as a school subject but as a future career path.
Once the kids are in the lab, scientists and engineers guide them through experiments and activities that implement the real-life tools, equipment and procedures Abbott scientists use daily to develop new health technologies that improve the lives of millions of people — both around the world and in the kids' communities.
Operation Discovery provides students with hands-on experiences that fuel a love of science.
After going through the program, kids report a significantly increased interest in STEM-related fields. Eighty-two percent of kids who participated in an Operation Discovery program said that the event made them want to learn more about how science and engineering can improve human health. Such experiences are crucial to the future of health technology.
Currently, there's a shortage of people entering STEM fields, so opportunities like Operation Discovery can help awaken a passion for health technology and plant the seeds for future scientists and engineers.
Youth development and increasing interest in science are important to Abbott, as they bring families together, inspire kids to reach their highest potential and help secure Abbott's legacy of innovation.
Keep reading for more information on the Operation Discovery program.