It all started when
a group of 59 engineers met in the Colonial Room of the Plankinton House on Dec. 13, 1905 to elect officers and directors.
Founded as the Engineering Society of Milwaukee (Society), the name later changed to the Engineers & Scientists of Milwaukee (ESM).
The purpose of the Society was to form a “cooperative body, broad enough in scope to meet the needs of all engineers and technical men in the community.” Charter members were engineers affiliated with national technical societies such as The American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Chemical Society and the Verien Deutscher Ingenieure of the German Polytechnic Society.
A scholarship program was established in 1939 after an anonymous donor contributed $6,000. The program expanded in the 1950s through benefit concerns, fundraisers and grants. It remains today. In the early 1990s, ESM broadened its membership focus to include STEM education and youth outreach.
Despite its ups and downs, the organization stands strong more than 110 years later. It was renamed STEM Forward in 2011.
Today, STEM Forward is southeastern Wisconsin’s leading nonprofit, technical organization providing and promoting educational outreach programs emphasizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
We continue to host a variety of events celebrating STEM, including the Engineers Week Banquet, Invitational Scholarship Golf Outing and sySTEMnow Conference. Check out the "Programs and Events" tab to see them all.
Through programs and activities, STEM Forward inspires youth to pursue STEM careers while preparing them for a 21st century workforce. In turn, we provide local businesses with a pipeline of STEM talent.
Additionally, STEM Forward serves as a resource for schools and businesses to establish partnerships through its Day of Engineering program, and cross-promotes what’s happening in STEM to raise awareness and educate others.
Volunteers, generous donors and partnerships help us carry out our vision to inspire a future-ready STEM workforce.