At Battelle, we’re not just committed to creating a safer, healthier and more secure world through science and technology. We also must nurture future generations of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) leaders in a rapidly changing world.
Through our Regional Community STEM Grant Program, we’re able to reach talented students who may not have access to STEM programs that support their interests. Directly investing in quality STEM education programs creates more equitable and accessible opportunities for students in underserved communities.
By building relationships with community organizations where Battelle employees live and work, we can equip the next generation of innovative and diverse thinkers, creators and inventors with the skills they need for future careers in STEM disciplines. This year, 47 grants were awarded totaling $1.2 million and reaching more than 71,000 students.
Following are features on some of the regional organizations that have received funding through this year’s Regional Community STEM Grant Program.
The Foundation for Glacier & Environmental Research
The Foundation for Glacier & Environmental Research has received funding to engage students in creating a virtual Antarctica. Students will collect 3D video and photography across three sites in West Antarctica, including Mount Waesche, Pine Island Glacier and Hercules Dome, key locations that are host to major research programs.
The collected imagery will be used to develop interactive experiences during field and classroom programs with students from across the U.S. who are part of the Upward Bound Program. Students will develop an Antarctica virtual world, integrating current research from Antarctica into an educational video game while learning how to use the virtual reality equipment, software and hardware. Ultimately, the virtual reality suite created is expected to be used by approximately 150 students during the spring and summer of 2023, and is expected to reach a total of 500 Alaskan students over the next three years. The acquired equipment will also be made available to other programs supporting low-income and first-generation students and will be shared with the Toolik Field Station research station in Alaska through a collaborative partnership as they develop field Arctic educational programs.
iSchool for the Future
Through a scaled professional development program aimed at supporting and developing educators in Title 1 schools, iSchool for the Future will support 3,000 students and 50 teachers by incorporating social and emotional skills development and arts into project-based STEM learning for students in grades K-8.
With Battelle funding, this teacher development program will help educators integrate social and emotional learning into existing curriculum through hands-on, project-based activities designed to increase student engagement with STEM subjects. This program also strengthens teachers’ confidence and effectiveness in teaching and modeling social emotional learning skills, which are critical to success, while providing best practices, organized resources and learning experiences to ensure teachers are equipped with practical and innovative strategies to engage students in STEM learning experiences.
Wolf Trap Foundation
The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts (Wolf Trap Institute), a signature program of the Wolf Trap Foundation, introduces professional performing artists, musicians, dancers, actors and puppeteers into early childhood programs. This arts-based education model supports young children's cognitive, social, emotional and physical development and enhances teachers' instructional skills through professional development.
With Battelle's support, the Wolf Trap Foundation will provide services to early childhood educators across three school districts with the aim of establishing long-term, sustainable partnerships at the district level. This program aims to increase school readiness for children living in economically disadvantaged circumstances and provide teachers with access to effective professional development.