Siemens Foundation: Grants for Science Education

OVERVIEW: The Siemens Foundation is the stateside foundation of the gigantic global engineering and electronics conglomerate of the same name. The foundation gives several million a year to STEM education, mostly in the form of competitions. Its flagship program is the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology. 

IP TAKE: Teens looking to do original research can compete in this funder’s flagship program. Siemens also gives for professional development, and lately, it's been dishing out massive in-kind donations of manufacturing software. 

PROFILE: Fun fact about Siemens: It’s been around since 1847, when two inventors based in Berlin (at the time in the Kingdom of Prussia) made improvements in telegraph technology. Since then, as corporations do, it has grown and grown, swallowing up competitors and expanding into more countries. The 1990s were a big deal for Siemens’ footprint in the United States, first with the purchase of a division of Texas Instruments, and Westinghouse Power Generation in 1997. The Westinghouse purchase in particular greatly expanded Siemens’ presence in the States. 

With the expansion, the company launched the Siemens Foundation, the American arm of the company’s philanthropic giving. It operates in conjunction with the company’s suite of foundations in other countries. The Siemens Foundation, like many tech corporations, gives to improve the quality of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. It actually doesn’t give nearly as much some of the other big guys in the field, but they do give 100 percent to STEM education, and given that most of the programs are competition-based, they are a bit more accessible. Most of it is K-12. Here’s a rundown of the main programs:

Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology: This is its big program, and one of the most prominent science competitions in the U.S. The contest is hosted by schools like MIT, Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon and CalTech, which participate in mentoring the high school students and selecting the winners. Scholarships out of this program range from $1,000 up to $100,000 each.

STEM Middle Skill Initiative: This is a workforce development program to “help close the opportunity gap for young adults in STEM middle-skill careers.”

Siemens Merit Scholarship: Siemens awards $4,000 scholarships to high school juniors with parents who work for the company. The program is administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Finally, it would be an oversight not to mention the flood of in-kind donations from Siemens to colleges in recent years, though they don't originate in the foundation.


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