Thursday, November 15, 2007

Motorola Foundation Grants $3.5 Million to Inspire Next Generation of Inventors

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. —The Motorola Foundation announced the recipients of its Innovation Generation Grants, a $3.5 million initiative to inspire young people to embrace science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The 2007 Innovation Generation Grants support 106 breakthrough programs that use innovative approaches to develop interest in technology-related fields while strengthening leadership and problem-solving skills. The grants target programs that encourage girls and ethnic groups currently underrepresented in technology fields. Of the recipient programs:

41 percent serve African American students
19 percent reach Hispanic youth
31 percent specifically target girls

"Motorola wants to show the next generation of inventors that science is fun, challenging and possible," said Eileen Sweeney, director of the Motorola Foundation. "Through the Innovation Generation Grants, organizations across the country are helping students develop a passion for science and math by making the connection between the cool technology they enjoy every day and the educational foundation they will need for greater success in the classroom and beyond."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs requiring science, engineering or technical training will increase 24 percent between 2004 and 2014 to 6.3 million, making critical thinkers and practical problem solvers fluent in today's technology even more crucial.

The programs supported by the Innovation Generation Grants range from after-school and summer science enrichment programs to activities that promote innovative technology use and teacher-training initiatives, including:

Global Kids, Inc. in New York will develop and test a high school curriculum that will enable educators to utilize the virtual world of Second Life to engage students in exploring global science, technology and programming.

Half Moon Bay High School in Half Moon Bay, Calif., will implement a new way of teaching algebra in Spanish that engages students in learning math concepts using new technology and hands-on learning, inspiring interest and pursuit of math, science and technology careers.

The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York will work with four public schools from the Young Women’s Leadership Foundation to develop curriculum, train teachers and host student workshops in school classrooms and aboard the former aircraft carrier turned museum to cultivate a deep interest in science among young women.

The Marine Science Institute in Redwood City, Calif., will engage students in conducting scientific exploration of the San Francisco Bay on its 90-foot research vessel, at its pier lab, in the classroom and through the Internet.

The National Society of Black Engineers in Alexandria, Va., will meld the engineering design process with math and science knowledge in a fun and interactive environment at its Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) Camp.

Working In The Schools' (WITS) new Chicago workplace mentoring program will provide a literacy program with a math and science focus, matching elementary school students one-to-one with business volunteers.

Since 2000, Motorola Foundation has contributed more than $35 million in grants to a variety of programs that expand student access to science and technology fields.

The Motorola Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola. With employees located around the globe, Motorola seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships, fostering innovation and engaging stakeholders. Motorola Foundation focuses its funding on education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming.

Beyond funding, Motorola is linking recipients of the Innovation Generation Grants with each other through a new company-hosted portal site that expands and enhances the global network of advocates for education in science, technology, engineering and math. Many of the grants also involve volunteer Motorola engineers and scientists, who guide, mentor, tutor and provide valuable insight into the opportunities of their line of work.

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