Republished with permission from Chevron
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Chevron and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, today, award $196,200 in Innovation Grants to 43 southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia classrooms to expand and support cutting-edge education.
The grants, presented in collaboration with Pennsylvania Intermediate Unit 1 and the West Virginia Regional Education Service Agency 6 & 7, seek 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.
In Pennsylvania, 20 projects in 14 school districts across Washington, Greene and Fayette counties will receive a combined $91,918 for initiatives aimed at topics including sustainable agriculture, energy sources and digital design. Schools in 10 West Virginia counties – Brooke, Gilmer, Hancock, Harrison, Marshall, Monongalia, Preston, Randolph, Tucker and Upshur – will receive a combined $104,282 for projects related to robotics, math, anatomy, and arts.
“We’re proud to support innovative teachers and school districts that are developing creative solutions to improve STEM education opportunities for children throughout our region,” said Stacey Olson, President of Chevron Appalachia. “Chevron places a high value on supporting communities where we’re privileged to work and recognizes the long-term importance of fostering educational opportunities. That’s why we’re committed to working with stakeholders to close the skills gap and develop a workforce that can thrive in opportunities across our growing energy and manufacturing sectors.”
Chevron and Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation funded the Innovation Grants as part of the Appalachia Partnership Initiative, a multi-year partnership established with an initial $20 million commitment from Chevron that seeks to strengthen economic and education environments by supporting long-term STEM and technical training programs.
“The Benedum Foundation seeks to promote successful learning, academic achievement, and preparation for the 21st-century workforce in southwest Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” said James Denova, Vice President of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. “We believe these Innovation Grants can help schools and teachers continue to advance practices that demonstrate measurable and sustainable benefits for students. These are some very exciting projects.”
With founding partners including Chevron, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Grable Foundation, Catalyst Connection and RAND Corporation providing evaluation and key data, the Appalachia Partnership Initiative supports education and workforce training in a 27-county footprint covering the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.
Don Martin, IU1 Assistant Executive Director: “The Innovation Grant collaboration is an extremely exciting initiative - not only for IU1 schools but also for schools in West Virginia. These grants provide initial funding for great-starter projects, and, in the bigger picture, they methodically encourage schools to share ideas and showcase work – two things that we sometimes don’t seize the opportunity to do. What is also unique about this collaborative is that it’s being done between two states with very different education systems.”
Brandon Robinson, Jefferson Morgan School District, Assistant Principal (Greene County): “Jefferson-Morgan is very excited to receive the Innovation Grant from Chevron and The Benedum Foundation. Because of this funding, students who otherwise may not have had the opportunity will be able to explore the field of engineering while also learning from the Project Lead the Way engineering courses at Jefferson-Morgan. We plan to use the funding to help us start to build our own Fab Lab in the Middle/High school for students use across the curriculum. Programs like these are what is needed in order to get more of our students interested and excited about critical STEM learning.”
Howard Johnson, Charleroi Area Middle School Science Teacher (Washington County): “We are thankful to Chevron and The Benedum Foundation for this grant as it will help increase our students’ exposure to critical STEM fields.”
Patsy Conch, United Technical Center (Harrison County): “On behalf of the Electrical Technician Program and United Technical Center, we are very appreciative of the funding we have been chosen to receive by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and Chevron. The Foundation and Chevron have always put student education first and this will go a long ways to furthering the training our students receive in the electrical field.”
Casandra Porter, John Marshall High School Principal (Marshall County): “These generous grants will allow students with an interest in engineering and problem solving to be afforded the tools, space, and curriculum to pursue their interests in an engaging way. The generosity of Chevron and The Benedum Foundation is directly supporting this program, while fueling these kids’ future careers”
Alyssa Mick, Assistant Principal, Oak Glen Middle School (Hancock County): “The faculty, staff and administration of Oak Glen Middle School in Hancock County is thankful to Chevron and The Benedum Foundation for their generous support of our STEM Academy. These funds will provide our students with engaging real world learning experiences using Project Lead The Way STEM curricula. Our hope is that all students develop the knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed in their future academic and career pursuits.”
Chevron Corporation is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron’s Appalachia operations are based in Coraopolis, Pa. More information about Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.
The Claude Worthington Benedum foundation has served West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania since it was established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum. A leader in the oil and gas business, Michael Benedum amassed a fortune, ranking him in his day among the 100 wealthiest Americans. This private foundation supports strong education and workforce programs throughout the tri-state region.