Astellas USA Foundation announced it is providing a $50,000 grant to the West Point Association of Graduates to encourage, empower and educate disadvantaged students in the fields of Science, Engineering, Math and Technology (STEM) through the West Point Center for Leadership and Diversity in STEM. This program focuses on introducing STEM to students at the pre-college level, supporting cadets studying STEM at West Point, and retaining STEM talent for West Point, the Army, and the nation.
Key programming includes the mobile STEM workshops, which help prepare a diverse group of middle and high school students across the county to pursue studies and career pathways in STEM fields. The workshops, taught by West Point faculty volunteers and cadet mentors, are designed to engage and excite students about STEM concepts, while also imparting cutting-edge curriculum in the field. They give students an opportunity to interact with college students and military personnel, picture themselves in college and a STEM related profession and find enjoyment in applied science. The workshops also help West Point cadets to gain valuable mentoring and leadership experience.
Current workshop topics include: Lego Mindstorm® Robotics, VEX IQ Robotics, Bridge Design, Cryptography, Drones, and Escape Room Problem Solving. Each workshop is structured to introduce students to a set of STEM concepts, provide them with hands-on application of the skill and engage them in the completion of a team challenge.
As part of their Science WoRx program, Astellas USA Foundation is providing support to these workshops to encourage and increase STEM education within underrepresented communities
To date, West Point’s Center for Leadership and Diversity in STEM has reached more than 5,000 youths and educators nationwide, and conducted 85 mobile workshops in 32 cities. Most students are minority populations and classified as economically disadvantaged. There were 1,312 participants this past year, and for the first time, female students comprised the majority (53 percent).
"The Center strives to inspire students to develop into leaders who will find solutions to the increasingly complex challenges that confront our nation," said Lori Sheetz, Center Director. "Through our Mobile STEM Workshops and STEM Camps, we seek to introduce science, technology, engineering and math learning to young students from populations typically underrepresented in these fields, and open their eyes to new educational and career pathways for their future consideration."
About Astellas USA Foundation
Astellas USA Foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit corporate foundation that awards grants to support charitable, scientific, literary and educational programs. Learn more at www.astellasusafoundation.org. You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasFDN or Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstellasFoundation.
About West Point Association of Graduates
Founded in 1869, the West Point Association of Graduates is a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation dedicated to furthering the ideals and promoting the welfare of West Point, and to serving and supporting the "Long Gray Line" of more than 50,000 living West Point graduates. Its philanthropic pursuits maintain a Margin of Excellence for cadets attending the United States Military Academy. For more information visit WestPointAOG.org.