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Dow Ups Ante in Support of Future Advanced Manufacturing

Company's Community Advisory Committees Partner with Educational Organizations to Fund STEM-Learning, Build for Future Innovations

Submitted by: Dow Chemical Company

Categories: Community Development, Academia

Posted: Oct 28, 2013 – 02:32 PM EST

 

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 28 /CSRwire/ - Recognizing that innovation begins with an investment of resources in those who are poised to make sustainable changes for years to come, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) is pleased to announce that in conjunction with its Community Advisory Committees (CAC) in Bristol, Pa., Newark, De., and Spring House, Pa., grants are being awarded to support innovative and impactful initiatives designed to prepare the next generation of innovators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Currently, U.S. manufacturing faces a shortage of employees with STEM skills as 600,000 manufacturing jobs go unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates. According to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), the U.S. will need to increase the number of students graduating in STEM fields by 34 percent in order to keep up with economic demand. By 2015, the U.S. will need 400,000 new graduates in STEM fields. Recognizing this gap, Dow has collaborated with its CAC’s in the Delaware Valley on STEM initiatives to help develop strong, cooperative partnerships between government, academia and industry to work toward a sustainable, diversified economy.

Community Advisory Committees serve as a link between Dow’s manufacturing sites, building cooperation amongst its neighboring communities. Through a two-way dialogue, CAC’s are able to comment on Dow’s operations and activities, while creating a mechanism for Dow representatives to provide information, obtain feedback, and learn about community concerns. CAC’s have played an integral role in helping the Company identify regional challenges – blight, poverty, or barriers leading to underrepresentation in the sciences – as well as to promote large-scale initiatives, such as increasing youth interest in STEM subjects and thus building a pipeline of professionals with advanced manufacturing workforce skills.

“When evaluating the grant applications, we looked for programs that would add to traditional middle school STEM programs, would reach a large number of students, and would dovetail with Dow’s mission of teaching a new generation,” said Joe Saxton, Chair of the Bristol CAC. “The Bristol Township School District’s proposal was outstanding in that it serves a need by adding to a strong high school curriculum and extends the immersion in those subjects.”

The organizations receiving 2014 CAC Grants include:

  • Bristol Township School District’s Educational Advancement Fund (BTEAF), awarded by the Bristol Community Advisory Council. A foundation dedicated to raising funds to promote educational enrichment, the BTEAF serves 6,200 students, teachers and families in Bristol Township public schools. Through the CAC grant, two new units of the Gateway to Technology teaching curriculum for STEM-based learning will be implemented: Design and Modeling and Automation and Robotics. The courses will be provided to 1,000 seventh and eighth grade students at Franklin D. Roosevelt and Neil A. Armstrong Middle Schools during the 2013-14 school year. The goal of the program is to sustain a sharp interest and enrollment increase in students taking engineering courses in Bristol Township, a community where just 16% of the local population has a four-year degree – but where 2012’s high school graduates merited more than $1 million in scholarships from engineering programs at colleges and universities.
  • Girls, Inc. of Delaware, awarded by the Newark Community Advisory Council. With a primary goal of keeping girls in school and motivating them to continue their education, Girls, Inc. has existed for more than 60 years, assisting children and teens who are at risk of negative outcomes and poor academic achievement. The CAC grant will support the Thinking SMART Program – an extracurricular, interactive, project-based STEM education program for middle school girls at Stanton Middle School during the spring, summer and fall of 2014. Program participants will increase their STEM literacy through group projects, development of a blog and experiential learning in conjunction with corporate and educational partners.
  • North Penn Valley Boys and Girls Club, awarded by the Spring House Community Advisory Council. Providing programming and services to more than 3,200 youth in Montgomery County, PA, North Penn Valley Boys and Girls Club will use the CAC grant to maintain Project Learn Ambler. This no-cost afterschool academic enrichment and homework program supports 45 low-income first through fifth graders at Shady Grove Elementary School and Lower Gwynedd Elemntary School in the Wissahickon School District. The program develops and maintains student interest in STEM subjects through concepts such as engineering, computer science, and natural (biological) science.

“The grant will allow us to bring more self-confidence to the girls that we serve, who may have challenges or who have never thought of STEM careers,” said Valerie Jermusyk, Director of Advancement at Girls, Inc. “Dow’s support will open eyes and doors for these young women – and help their school and community at the same time.”

On November 19, Dow’s commitment to STEM education in the Delaware Valley will be recognized by the Philadelphia Education Fund’s 2013 Eddy Award for “Star Business Commitment to Education.” Through local partnerships with leading organizations, including the Franklin Institute, Delaware Valley Science Fairs, Inc., and the Philadelphia Math + Science Coalition, involvement of Dow employees as volunteers, and sponsorship of countless programs, Dow has supported STEM education for more than 100 years.

“The three organizations that our CAC’s have identified will help prepare the next generation of STEM innovators – fueling a pipeline of knowledge and expertise,” said Justin Land, Northeast Public Affairs Manager at Dow. “The sustainable quality-of-life contributions that students will make, from their communities to our global ecosystem, all begin with caring mentors and investment in their futures.”

To learn more about Dow in the Delaware Valley, visit www.dow.com/delawarevalley.

About Dow
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2012, Dow had annual sales of approximately $57 billion and employed approximately 54,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.

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