Innovation Grants aim to strengthen STEM-education opportunities in tri-state region
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Forty-three school districts across southwestern Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia and eastern Ohio were awarded more than a quarter-million dollars in grant funding today through a partnership led by Chevron, EQT, and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.
Called “Innovation Grants,” the program, now in its third year, seeks to encourage school districts, primarily in rural communities, to develop engaging programs and curriculum with innovation and design serving as the driving force behind science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education.
“Chevron is proud of our role in producing the energy that’s providing career opportunities for today’s students and we place a high value on partnering with schools to support innovative classroom initiatives to address the region’s workforce skills gap,” said Trip Oliver, Manager Policy, Government and Public Affairs at Chevron Appalachia. “We’re committed to supporting the communities where we’re privileged to operate, and we hope these grants help spark an interest and prepare students with the science and math skills critical to in-demand energy and advanced manufacturing careers.”
Since 2017, the Chevron and Benedum Foundation-led initiative has awarded more than $500,000 in Innovation Grants to schools across the region, with EQT’s generous support further expanding the program this year.
“We strive to identify opportunities that impact the communities we serve in meaningful ways,” said Ellen Rossi, EQT Foundation Manager. “Education is a core focus of the EQT Foundation and we’re proud to partner with Chevron on this truly innovative program that expands curriculum and gets students excited to learn.”
Pennsylvania will have 13 projects in 12 school districts across Washington, Greene and Fayette counties funded, receiving a combined $87,900 for initiatives aimed at topics including coding, robotics, STEM, and music. In Ohio, 12 projects in 5 school districts in Belmont County will receive a combined $63,800 for projects aimed at engineering, robotics, and girls in STEAM. Finally, 18 projects in 10 West Virginia county school districts – Brooke, Hancock, Harrison, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Randolph, Tucker, and Upshur – will receive a combined $107,500 for projects related to robotics, coding, 3D printing, and engineering.
“Small grants like these are incredibly valuable in tapping the creativity of frontline teachers working with community partners,” said James Denova, Vice President of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. “There are a lot of inspiring ideas out there, but they are often overlooked by large scale top-down projects. In many ways, the grassroots approach to IU1’s innovation grants democratize reform in public education.”NOTE: Shown below are the grants each school in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio received.