Ford Stock – Ford, Honda support STEM programs
Cleveland, Ohio – Two of the world’s largest automakers have announced plans to support science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs throughout the country.
Ford is donating more than 40 laptops to the Girls in Engineering Academy to support underserved students in the program and boost their education in STEM. Developed by The Engineering Society of Detroit, the Girls in Engineering program aims to prepare and encourage middle school girls, particularly in Metro Detroit, to enter college and study engineering at a level competitive with other students. The program first launched in 2017 and is now seeing its first class of middle school members enter high school.
“Many students simply do not have access to the tools and support they need to further their education in math and science, especially as the pandemic persists,” said Randy Strawsine, STEM lead, Ford Motor Co.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Girls in Engineering Academy has moved its students into a virtual setting. Because many students do not have access to a computer at home, the laptop donation from Ford will remove restrictions to remote learning.
“While K–12 students’ access to computers and the Internet improved during the pandemic-plagued and largely remote fall school term of 2020, a clear digital divide persists, especially among African-American, Hispanic, and low-income students,” said Gerald O. Thompkins, Ph.D., program manager and GEA director. “According to recent research by the National Center for Education Statistics, 67% of white students were likely to use the Internet, but just 47% of African-American students, 44% of Hispanic students, and 58% of Asian-American students were likely to do so. Internet connectivity and access remains problematic for many Detroit families.”
Every year, the Girls in Engineering Academy recruits approximately 30 girls, with the goal of supporting their education through middle school, high school, and until the time they enter the workforce. The Academy offers academic year programs as well as a four-week summer experience centered on a curriculum designed with input from female engineering faculty to motivate members to explore a career in engineering.
With a retention rate of approximately 85%, the organization focuses on:
- Encouraging and promoting minority female middle school students at all levels to consider a career in engineering
- Increasing awareness in the community about the opportunities available to girls pursuing an engineering profession
- Assisting in academically preparing female middle school students for high school and post-secondary education – and ultimately for a career in engineering
At the laptop distribution, Ford introduced students to its humanoid robot Digit to inspire them to continue cultivating an interest in STEM. Ford is exploring multiple ways Digit could be deployed in the future, including in the commercial and autonomous vehicle space.
The laptop donation is part of a larger effort at Ford to expand its support for STEM programs around the country, and the latest action taken to support The Engineering Society of Detroit. Ford has provided funding for the Girls in Engineering Academy in recent years and plans to continue supporting the program in 2021.
The American Honda Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $324,000 for the fall 2020 funding period to six nonprofit organizations dedicated to enhancing STEM education opportunities for young people.
The American Honda Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million to nonprofit organizations across America during the past nine months.
The American Honda Foundation awards grants to nonprofit organizations that share the core tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic, and innovative. Since the Foundation’s establishment in 1984, it has awarded more than $43 million to organizations serving more than 118 million people across the U.S.
“Through our grant program, the American Honda Foundation helps young people reach their potential for academic and lifelong success,” said Alexandra Warnier, executive director of the American Honda Foundation. “This funding will enhance programs that aim to create a pipeline to STEAM careers, close learning gaps, and provide students with life skills.”
The most recent round grants went to:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio: With over four acres in Cleveland’s Morgana Bluffs Nature Preserve, local youth gain exposure to and build on STEM concepts through “fun with purpose” activities and experiments that encourage hands-on learning and the application of classroom concepts in math and science through real-world exploration. The American Honda Foundation grant will support activities at the Outdoor Learning Lab, including birdwatching using sensory and physical tools to spot birds as well as learning why snow happens and the math/science behind each snowflake.
- Latinitas: The organization addresses the underrepresentation of Latina and other women of color in technology fields by offering year-round opportunities for girls ages 9-18 to express themselves creatively through digital media, technology and other STEM enrichment activities that explore identity, culture and gender. Participants study filmmaking, graphic and web design, podcasting and photography, while also exploring the latest in 21st century storytelling such as coding, 3-D printing and virtual and augmented reality. The grant will support Latinitas’ virtual bilingual STEM programs.
- Literacy Matters Foundation: Grant funding will support the Mighty Doodle Literacy Program, which is designed to empower kindergarten through third-grade learners with the basic reading, writing and spelling skills to close the literacy gap. The program provides individualized, engaging child-friendly literacy instruction in a gamified lesson format using Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence. With real-time tracking and analytics, teachers can quickly identify where individual students need more help and assign specific tasks to address those needs.
- Multi-Agency Alliance for Children (MAAC): MAAC will use the grant to support their Employment and Training Program where young adults – ages 18-24 and who have been in the foster care system – receive technical skills training and ongoing support that sets them on a path of self-sufficiency. Participants gain basic IT training and work toward achieving professional technical and computer science certifications. They also receive ongoing support in life skills, financial literacy and management along with other wraparound assistance.
- The Fishing School: Students learn to ‘fish in the rivers of the mind’ to build the academic and life skills necessary to achieve lifetime success. Students in first through fifth grades and their parents are grouped into cohorts upon enrollment and progress together through a multi-year program. The grant will support The Fishing School’s afterschool and summer success programs, which engage students in hands-on, thematic STEAM activities that promote creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking as well as the development of core math and reading skills through technology.
- The Literacy Lab: The grant will support The Literacy Lab’s Leading Men Fellowship, which provides young men of color who are recent high school graduates robust coaching and professional development. The Leading Men in turn, provide literacy intervention to disadvantaged pre-kindergarten students in Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, and Richmond, Va. Each Fellow is assigned to a single classroom for the entire school year, leading whole class, small group and one-on-one literacy interventions. In addition to closing the literacy gap, the Leading Men Fellowship exposes young men of color to a career in early childhood education, potentially helping to diversify the teacher pipeline.
For more information about the American Honda Foundation and its grant application process, visit www.honda.com/community/applying-for-a-grant.
Ford Stock – Ford, Honda support STEM programs
Tags: Ford Stock