STEM Grants

Motorola Solutions Foundation Provides $2.81 Million in Grants to Promote STEM

About 1 million students and teachers expected to benefit, particularly women and people of color.

Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, is providing $2.81 million in grants to organizations to promote STEM education, with a focus on women and people of color.

About 1 million students and teachers are anticipated to receive an average of 120 programming hours from the foundation’s partner nonprofit organizations in the upcoming school year. Programs will support students of all backgrounds, with an emphasis on populations underrepresented in STEM fields.

“The vast majority of recommended programs support hands-on opportunities in engineering and/or technology,” said Matt Blakely, executive director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation, in a prepared statement. “This year we’ve expanded the number of grants that provide technology education focused on public safety.”

The Innovation Generation grant program, as it’s officially called, is in its ninth year. After a competitive review process, 83 organizations will receive grants. All programs engage Motorola employees as volunteers or offer opportunities for future involvement.

Some of the grant recipients are:

  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES, national): AISES will work with two middle and/or high schools serving primarily Native American students to build the capacity of eight educators to incorporate teaching skills related to robotics and reach up to 100 students with interactive and age-appropriate STEM education activities through robotics programming.
  • Chicago Youth Centers (CYC, Chicago): Through the CYC Maker Lab program, students will learn how to code, manipulate vectors, use 3D printers and more. Also, students will take networking courses in IT essentials, routing and switching, the Internet of Things and network security. Certification will be available upon successful completion and demonstration of proficiency in one or more of these courses.
  • Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, FL): The Women in Engineering/Computer Science program will provide about 400 female students enrolled in engineering and computer science majors with mentorship, networking events and hands-on activities. The goal of this program is to maintain students’ interest in engineering and technology by fostering a supportive culture.
  • The Boys’ Club of New York (New York, NY): The Boys’ Club Expanded STEM Program will provide about 100 low-income boys and young men of color in New York with focused, hands-on STEM classes in engineering, robotics and more. In addition, the Science of Smart Cities will teach students about mobile and wireless communications. Specifically, students will learn to send messages over long distances using custom-made radio frequency transmitters and receivers. Then they will be tasked to build their own infrared transmitters and receivers.
  • United Cerebral Palsy (Chicago): Life Labs’ Innovation Lab is a hackathon-style program that gathers individuals with disabilities in teams to compete for the best innovation that will improve the lives of people with disabilities. The Chicagoland 2016 Innovation Lab will provide 100 college and graduate students an opportunity to learn and apply entrepreneurial methods to create solutions for people with disabilities as well as engage with expert mentors.
  • Workshops for Warriors (San Diego): Workshops for Warriors will provide orientation, course instruction and hands-on training in computer-aided manufacturing and welding and fabrication to 150 veterans, wounded warrior and transitioning service members. Upon successful completion of the program, participants will earn nationally recognized portable and stackable credentials including SolidWorks, Mastercam, the National institute for Metalworking Skills, Immerse2Learn and more.

Since 2007, the Motorola Solutions Foundation has contributed more than $42 million to STEM education through its Innovation Generation grant program. For more information on Motorola Solutions Foundation, visit the organization’s website.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at rchang@1105media.com.

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