STEM Awards

Innovative Public-Private Partnership Honored at White House for Excellence in STEM Mentoring

As posted on The Nature Conservancy | August 15, 2016

CH2M’s Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and W.B. Saul High School in Philadelphia receive award for innovative, cross-sectoral approach to connecting students to real-world STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning opportunities.


 PHILADELPHIA, PA - The US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards are a platform to celebrate and encourage exceptional work in the STEM mentoring field. The Award for Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships recognizes the CH2M Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and W.B. Saul High School’s innovative, cross-sectoral approach to connecting students with talented science and engineering professionals and provide real-world STEM learning opportunities.

“We are honored to receive this award, which recognizes that we can achieve bigger and better outcomes working together than we can on our own. Our collaboration makes us stronger and more effective, and we are thrilled about the opportunity for CH2M engineering professionals and Conservancy scientists to pass their knowledge and passion on to students through mentorship in real world green engineering projects,” said Ellen Sandberg, executive director of the CH2M Foundation and vice president of community investment.

In December 2015, the CH2M Foundation awarded a $200,000 grant to The Nature Conservancy to develop a green infrastructure—a resilient approach to water management—and STEM education pilot project at W.B. Saul High School’s campus in Philadelphia. Throughout 2016 and 2017, CH2M engineers and Conservancy scientists will work directly with students and faculty to design and construct a green infrastructure project on the school’s campus to work to address stormwater quantity and quality concerns.

“Studies show that informal science learning outside the classroom plays a crucial role in sustaining long-term understanding and interest in STEM fields,” said Brigitte Griswold, director of youth engagement programs for The Nature Conservancy. “The students who attend W.B. Saul High School will be leading the development of this green engineering solution right on their campus. This partnership will help further students’ understanding, interest and engagement in STEM principles, as well as model career paths that will help develop the next generation of STEM leaders in our country.”

The goal of the partnership is twofold: to engage students in science and engineering to increase student interest in green STEM careers through access to mentors and project-based learning, and to engage the school community around the value of green infrastructure solutions, which may include bioswales, pocket wetlands, green roofs, or rain gardens, that create healthier urban environments.

“The W.B. Saul School is thrilled to be a part of this initiative and extend learning opportunities to students through the living laboratory of our 130-acre campus,” said Tamera Conaway, principal of W.B. Saul High School.

“With this grant, teachers will be able to provide a true hands-on application of the agricultural curriculum that is currently being taught. The grant will enable Saul's teachers' to be at the forefront of teaching environmental technology," added Jessica McAtamney, agricultural dean of W.B. Saul High School.

“We are mentoring young leaders in green STEM principles and increasing green infrastructure in urban Philadelphia by leveraging our scientific expertise alongside CH2M’s engineering and infrastructure capabilities. Through this partnership, we are working toward creating a world where people and nature thrive together today and into the future,” said Julie Ulrich, urban conservation program director for The Nature Conservancy’s Pennsylvania chapter.

###

About CH2M CH2M leads the professional services industry delivering sustainable solutions benefiting societal, environmental and economic outcomes with the development of infrastructure and industry. In this way, CH2Mers make a positive difference providing consulting, design, engineering and management services for clients in water; environment and nuclear; transportation; energy and industrial markets, from iconic infrastructure to global programs like the Olympic Games. Ranked among the World’s Most Ethical Companies and top firms in environmental consulting and program management, CH2M in 2016 became the first professional services firm honored with the World Environment Center Gold Medal Award for efforts advancing sustainable development. Connect with CH2M at www.ch2m.com; LinkedIn; Twitter; and Facebook.

About W.B. Saul High School  The Mission of the Walter Biddle Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, a diverse learning community, is to develop in students an understanding of and appreciation for the career and leadership opportunities that are available to them in the many fields of agriculture.  It is also our commitment to cultivate each student's individual abilities to prepare him or her for a lifetime of productive academic, vocational, and civic endeavors.

 


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at www.nature.org. To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visitwww.nature.org/global. To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Covestro gets STEM honors

20160602ng-Covestro2Covestro, a plastics and materials maker with North American headquarters in Robinson, received US2020’s STEM Mentoring Award for Excellence in Corporate Culture in recognition of its employee volunteer programs that support the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Silicon Valley tech firm Yahoo was the other winner in the category. US2020 is an initiative to increase the number of STEM professionals who mentor and teach students. The awards were presented Thursday during a symposium held at the White House.

 

Covestro LLC Receives US2020's 2016 STEM Mentoring Award for 'Excellence in Corporate Culture'

PITTSBURGH, PA-- This morning, US2020 honored Covestro LLC with its 2016 STEM Mentoring Award for "Excellence in Corporate Culture." The national award recognizes Covestro's companywide i3STEM program, which ignites young minds to become the innovators of tomorrow through hands-on science experiences and employee volunteerism. As an award recipient, Covestro will be participating in a White House STEM Mentoring Symposium later today.

The mission of US2020, launched at the 2013 White House Science Fair, is to change the trajectory of STEM education in America by dramatically scaling the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students, especially those who have been traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields.

More than 150 organizations participated in this year's award series, and Covestro was one of six companies selected for the honor.

"We were thrilled to see the variety and quality of organizations and companies that submitted applications to the 2016 STEM Mentoring Awards," said Nick Hutchinson, executive director of US2020. "Quality, skills-based mentorship is uniquely positioned to address the barriers to STEM access and achievement and has been shown to provide academic and emotional benefits for students, particularly at-risk youth."

Covestro, which operated as Bayer MaterialScience until September 2015, has a 60-year history of strengthening STEM education and fostering a diverse STEM workforce pipeline in the U.S. The company is now pioneering a new approach to STEM mentoring and volunteering with skills-based volunteerism (SBV). The US2020 award acknowledges Covestro's "exceptional work" in STEM mentoring.

"We are truly honored to receive this award, which caps off a successful first year as a new company with a new name," said Jerry MacCleary, president, Covestro LLC. "Our passion for STEM continues to be a fundamental part of our identity. This award not only highlights our commitment to advancing STEM education in communities nationwide, but it also reflects the dedication of our employee volunteers, who serve as mentors and role models to inspire the next generation of innovators."

Approximately 260 employee-volunteers at six U.S. Covestro sites work with more than 100 K-12 schools by participating in classroom visits, career fairs, science nights, mentoring, Girls in STEM programs and other special events. They also have hosted or engaged in dozens of career fairs and conferences at universities. Through these activities, Covestro employees have impacted more than 40,000 students.

That number continues to grow as the company implements a new, more inclusive approach with SBV. This innovative concept allows virtually any employee to be a STEM volunteer, contributing their particular expertise to solve problems and build capacity for both STEM and non-STEM organizations.

"SBV enables all of our employees to serve STEM education organizations in new and vital ways," said Rebecca Lucore, Covestro's head of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, North and South America. "For example, Covestro teams have developed a sustainability plan for a Smithsonian Institution affiliate museum, prepared STEM education programming for a world-class botanic garden, and solved a persistent accounting problem at a STEM-ed organization that couldn't afford paid consultants."

In addition, Covestro is creating and expanding local and national STEM education partnerships with greenlight for girls (g4g), American Chemical Society's Project SEED, and the Manufacturing Institute's STEP Ahead program, among others; sponsoring the Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair; and, supporting employees who volunteer with an official paid-time off policy.

About Covestro LLC:

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2015 sales of EUR 12.1 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,800 people at the end of 2015.

US2020 Honors Leaders of the STEM Mentoring Movement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, US2020 announced the winners of the second annual US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards. The awards are a national platform to celebrate and encourage exceptional work in the STEM mentoring field. US2020 and co-founding sponsors Chevron and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are recognizing the winners for their achievements and innovations in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring. The US2020 award winners will also be participating in a White House STEM Mentoring Symposium that is occurring on August 11th. The second annual US2020 STEM Mentoring Awards included three award categories and two winners per category. Applications were evaluated by a cross-sector panel of judges. By category, this year’s winners are: Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships (CH2M and Genentech, Inc); Excellence in Corporate Culture (Yahoo and Covestro LLC); Excellence in Volunteer Experience (EnCorps STEM Teachers Fellowship and FIRST North Carolina).

Momentum in the field was evident as over 150 organizations participated in this year’s award series. “We are thrilled to see the variety and quality of organizations and companies submitting applications to the 2016 STEM Mentoring Awards,” said Nick Hutchinson, Executive Director of US2020. “Quality, skills-based mentorship is uniquely positioned to address the barriers to STEM access and achievement and has been shown to provide academic and emotional benefits for students, particularly at-risk youth.”

Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships, a new award category in 2016, was designed to highlight innovative collaborations in STEM mentoring that have the ability to scale. The award recognizes effective, cross-sector partnerships that are eliminating barriers for underserved and underrepresented students and communities. Genentech is a biotechnology company dedicated to discovering, developing, and manufacturing medicines to treat serious diseases such as cancer. Genentech has created a multi-year commitment that makes science accessible for students within South San Francisco. Genentech’s Futurelab program partners with South San Francisco Unified School District and mobilizes Genentech employees to explore the wonders of biotechnology with young people. Futurelab is designed to engage students from kindergarten through the completion of high school, while creating opportunities for students to develop meaningful relationships with Genentech professionals. CH2M, a global engineering firm, in concert with its charitable foundation and The Nature Conservancy, have partnered to serve more than 560 predominately underserved and underrepresented students at the Walter Biddle Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences in Philadelphia. Their multi-faceted project aims to teach students about natural infrastructure and its important role in sustaining healthy communities through project-based learning, including retrofitting their own school. The program creates opportunities for CH2M employees to play a meaningful role in the design, implementation and maintenance of the project. The project was noted for its strong potential to scale nationally.

US2020’s Excellence in Corporate Culture award honors companies that are promoting and supporting a culture of STEM volunteerism across all levels of their business operations. Yahoo promotes STEM volunteerism across 32 global offices through programs and policies that empower all employees to highimpact STEM mentoring. From their innovative paid-time-off and matching grant policies to their flagship Summer of Service campaign, Yahoo positions employees to serve as champions in their communities. Covestro LLC honors its commitment to employee volunteerism through their corporate social responsibility program, i3 - Ignite, Imagine, and Innovate, which supports local community engagement and provides guidelines, classroom kits and other materials that empower employees in the classroom. The i3 program, combined with a robust paid-time-off for volunteerism program has mobilized nearly 10 percent of its domestic workforce this year alone to high-impact STEM volunteerism.

The Excellence in Volunteer Experience award recognizes US2020 Education Partners that provide high-quality, well-supported engagements for their volunteers. Winners are selected based on the survey results submitted by their volunteers. EnCorps STEM Teachers Fellowship is forging unique public-private partnerships to recruit, train, and support STEM professionals to teach and tutor California’s most needy students in math and science. FIRST North Carolina, uses robotics to inspire youth to pursue careers in science and technology and engages STEM professionals in powerful ways. FIRST North Carolina volunteers are individually volunteering an average of over 200 hours per year. Nationally, FIRST engages 400,000 K-12 students and over 200,000 STEM professionals in its programs every year.

“Young people today need to acquire a transdisciplinary set of skills and a foundational knowledge of STEM disciplines, combined with an artistic and creative mind, in order to succeed,” said Surya Kant, President, North America, UK and Europe, TCS. We are proud of the dedicated efforts and achievements of the STEM Mentoring Awards winners, who are key contributors to shaping the youth of America for 21st STEM careers.

Please join us in celebrating these exceptional civic efforts to ignite moments of discovery for the next generation of leaders in STEM.

US2020 also announced finalists: Excellence in Corporate Culture (Booz Allen Hamilton); Excellence in Volunteer Experience (University City Science Center, Philadelphia, PA); Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships (Indiana University School of Informatics at IUPUI and WakeEd Partnership).

Media Contacts

Cristin Mitchell -- Ellis Strategies, Inc. cristin@ellisstrategies.com | 617.308.0771

Nikole Saulsberry -- US2020 nikolesaulsberry@us2020.org | 832.465.5291

About US2020

US2020, a division of Citizen Schools, developed from a White House call to generate large-scale, innovative solutions to our STEM education challenges. Its mission is to dramatically scale the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects with a focus on serving underrepresented communities -- girls, underrepresented minorities, and low-income children. US2020 is supported by national Co-Investors: Alcoa, CA Technologies, Chevron, Cisco, Discovery Communications, HP, Raytheon, SanDisk, Tata Consultancy Services, and Texas Instruments. Through partnerships at the national level and coalitions at the city level, US2020 has built a network of more than 250 organizations in 13 cities actively working to scale the STEM mentoring field, to align the field on common metrics, and to advance a focus on quality. The match-making process and data collection is supported by a dynamic online platform built by pro-bono developer Tata Consultancy Services. To learn more, visit www.us2020.org

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support, in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit www.citizenschools.org