Philanthropy serving rural areas is lacking, and one thing that could really use some help is STEM education. One corporate foundation in Illinois just launched a pilot program to address the problem.
Leading the country by percentage of profit donated last year was metals producer Alcoa, giving an impressive 12 percent away. Let's take a look at Alcoa's STEM giving, one of its two major priorities.
Chevron has committed $30 million in additional support for STEM education programs, for a total of $130 million since 2011. The oil and gas company is expanding funding for the handful of national programs it supports, for their work on reform and standards, professional development for teachers, and hands-on learning.
The Sloan Foundation has been supporting minority Ph.D. students in STEM fields since the 1990s, but last year shifted its strategy, going all in with funding at a smaller number of universities. The funder just announced two new University Centers of Exemplary Mentoring, bringing the total to five centers funded at nearly $5 million.
Part of the difficulty of getting kids into science, tech, engineering and math is the stuffy lab coat image, the idea that it’s just for the nerds or the smartest kids. What if you could replace that image with the maker culture’s DIY, mad scientist ethos, complete with robots and tesla coils? At least one prominent IT company’s philanthropy arm wants to give it shot.
In its latest move to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the United States, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has put nearly $90 million up for grabs for colleges and universities interested in laying the groundwork for the next generation — and the generation after that — of scientists.
When the Research Corporation for Science Advancement decided in 1994 to launch its Cottrell Scholar Awards program, the goal was to unite the research and teaching functions that had grown so disconnected at Ph.D.-granting institutions. The program has now taken on a life of its own.
The Keck Foundation awarded a $200,000 grant to support the Summer Math and Science Honors program, otherwise known as SMASH. The program searches for high-achieving students from low-income households in the Los Angeles area. These kids join the program for three years, spending five weeks each summer studying a STEM subject in a college setting while living in dorms at UCLA or the University of Southern California.