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New Corporate STEM Grants Target Initiatives Nationwide

The charitable arm of Motorola Solutions Inc. this week announced $4.4 million in grants to fuel STEM education activities around the United States and Canada, including a Girl Scout robotics program, the "Tech Wizards" project from the National 4-H Council, and summer enrichment at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.

Since 2007, the Motorola Solutions Foundation has provided $34 million to more than 400 STEM programs at schools, museums, and nonprofits, a news release said.

Here's a quick sampling of projects:

  • Project SYNCERE: Deliver STEM-focused enrichment programming in and out of school to more than 2,000 students grades 3-12, with a focus on hands-on engineering projects that help students see how technology and engineering relate to the real world;
  • FIRST Robotics: Provide more than 400 students with hands-on opportunities to apply math and science concepts to design, build, test, and compete with robots;
  • Tech Hive: Support teens in the San Francisco Bay area in partnership with engineering undegraduates to develop "youth-inspired" engineering challenges and technology projects for use at the Lawrence Hall of Science; and
  • 4-H Tech Wizards: Provide underrepresented youth opportunities to work with professionals who specialize in emerging technologies;
  • Solar Power-Up: Support student participation in an engineering and "green" technology program focused on the design and construction of solar-powered cars.

You can review the full list of projects on this web page.

Meanwhile, I've also learned about several other STEM-focused grants. The University of Rhode Island has been awarded $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to help recruit and train STEM teachers, the Providence Journal reports.

Southern Illinois University is also getting $1.2 million to graduate and certify 36 secondary science teachers to serve in high-need rural and urban communities in southwestern Illinois, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

And our own Stephen Sawchuk over at the Teacher Beat blog has just reported on a $2.6 million NSF grant to researchers at the University of Missouri to study its Quality Elementary Science Teaching, or QuEST program.

Finally, returning to corporate support for STEM for a moment, here's an interesting one: Chevron Corp. has teamed up with the Oakland A's to host a "STEM Zone" exhibit during a baseball game this Saturday. The STEM zone is a program that aims to deepen interest and understanding of science among Bay Area youth through baseball, a news release said. Students learn how the game of baseball works and the fundamental roles that gravity, acceleration, and reaction time play.

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