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STEM Education
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Despite Pandemic, Creative STEM Learning Options Reach More than 800,000 Students

Posted by Megan Shock on Dec 22, 2021

As part of Battelle’s commitment to do the greatest good for humanity, a portion of our profits go back to the communities where we live and work. And because we’re an organization focused on scientific and technological discovery, a key focus of Battelle’s philanthropic strategy is ensuring every student has the opportunity to engage with learning focused on science, technology, education and math (STEM) experiences.

The ongoing pandemic impacted many students’ in-school learning, which meant that Battelle’s Philanthropy & Education team had to get creative. With an eye on out-of-classroom experiences like summer camps and community outreach activities, Battelle donated $18.7 million to community organizations. And in partnership with Battelle-managed national laboratories, which offer unique learning experiences to students in their local communities, a total of 833,000 students across the U.S. were impacted in fiscal year 2021.

“We had a robust philanthropic budget and great resources last fiscal year,” said Wes Hall, Vice President of Philanthropy & Education. “Battelle supports STEM programming for students to help prepare future generations of scientists and engineers that may one day work at Battelle.”

Here’s a look back at some highlights.

Gift to PAST Foundation Sends Kids to Camps and Boost Professional Development for STEM Educators

A $275,000 grant from Battelle to the PAST Foundation provided summer camps free of charge to high-needs students and will continue a Battelle Teaching Fellowship in STEM to help teachers strengthen strategies for teaching STEM effectively.

The funding supports two of the primary PAST mission pillars: Expanding STEM literacy and competency of teachers and creating more opportunities for students to engage in STEM career exploration and exposure in a sustainable process of development and expansion. More than 400 students participated in the camps designed to prevent the “summer slide” of learning loss that can occur over summer break.

Battelle Backs Social Organizations Striving for Improved Society

Battelle directed philanthropic giving to the Columbus Urban League, Equal Justice Initiative and United Negro College Fund in the form of $100,000 gifts to each.

STEM Grants Provide Out-of-Classroom Learning Experiences to 25,000 Students

Battelle funded a portfolio of 14 high-quality STEM education programs intended to reach more than 25,000 Central Ohio students during the next year.

This 2021 annual Battelle STEM Grant Program has awarded $504,000 to new or expanded learning programs in Central Ohio. Providing access for all students to experience quality STEM education is Battelle’s top philanthropic priority. To date, the program has awarded more than $4 million.

Through the Battelle STEM Grant Program, Central Ohio organizations expand STEM learning experiences outside of the school classroom and reach students underserved by traditional opportunities.

Battelle Funds Internships for Students through Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Consortium

As part of our long-standing commitment to increasing diversity and fostering inclusion within STEM careers, Battelle is investing $200,000 over two years to provide students from Bowie State University and Morgan State University research opportunities as they progress from the classroom to employment. 

This is the first phase of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Consortium, a Battelle program established to build meaningful, long-term collaborative relationships with the country’s leading HBCUs.

The HBCU Consortium initially will be seeded by student externship opportunities that will evolve to include joint seminars, mentorship opportunities, participation on thesis committees and research collaborations and employment at Battelle. 

Students from Bowie State in Bowie, Maryland and Morgan State in Baltimore, Maryland will be the first to work with Battelle scientists and engineers and within the government programs Battelle supports. The intention is to expand the program to other HBCUs in the future.

Battelle Partners to Reopen Historic Building as STEM School

Battelle is partnering with The Ohio State University, the State of Ohio and Metro Schools to renovate an empty school building and give more Columbus-area students a STEM education. 

Metro’s expansion is part of Battelle’s philanthropic mission to expand STEM educational opportunities to students in Central Ohio. Metro Schools also operates the Metro Early College High School and Metro Early College Middle School at 1929 Kenny Rd. in Columbus. 

After the Indianola building is renovated and opened in 2024, Metro’s Kenny Road location will temporarily transition to serving as an elementary school as the expansion enters new phases.

Looking Ahead

Undeterred by the challenges of the last year of the pandemic, in fiscal year 2022 the Philanthropy & Education team aims to impact at least 1 million students. 

“We know learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. This year we had great opportunities to get creative and meet students where they were, whether that was at a summer camp or by providing take-home science kits,” said Hall. “We have a lot of great partnerships planned to increase our reach and ensure that more students than ever have access to hands-on STEM experiences.”

Learn More about how Battelle brings STEM learning to students everywhere  
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