Chicago, Illinois – August 26,2013 – The Illinois Science and Technology Institute (ISTI) today announced it has received $25,000 as part of the Innovation Generation grant program from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. Through the grant, the ISTI will implement and grow the Research and Development (R&D) STEM Learning Exchange, a public-private collaboration which will offer learning tools to students and teachers in 15 pilot schools around Illinois that will increase student-driven research and R&D career exploration.
Since 2007, the Innovation Generation program has provided $3.4 million in support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs, supporting more than 400 school, museum and nonprofit programs across the United States and Canada. The Innovation Generation program awards funds to organizations that foster and support STEM initiatives for teachers and U.S. preschool through university students – especially girls and underrepresented minorities.
“The goal of the R&D STEM Learning Exchange is to better connect students to careers in STEM fields in order to help address talent pipeline needs in critical industry sectors. This generous grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundation will greatly enhance the work we perform with our partner high schools and our strong public-private coalition to improve learning opportunities that boost our state’s competitiveness,” said Mark Harris, president & CEO of the ISTI, an affiliate of the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition.
The R&D STEM Learning Exchange is part of Illinois Pathways, a $10.3 million initiative launched last year by Governor Quinn to better prepare students to compete in the global economy. Initially funded through federal Race to the Top (RTTT) funds, which leveraged significant private investment, the STEM Learning Exchanges are designed to coordinate investments, resources and planning for programs that empower youth and adults to explore academic and career interests in STEM fields.
In its pilot year, the R&D STEM Learning Exchange aims to impact more than 250 students and their teachers through three key initiatives. Students will engage in industry-driven challenges which enable real-world research experiences. The Exchange will also implement a virtual mentor matching platform for students to engage with an industry or university mentor around an authentic research experience. Students and teacher will also be able to connect with local programs and resources enabling greater impact of existing STEM learning tools.
“We are so honored to partner with organizations like the Illinois Science and Technology Institute who are helping to create the world’s future innovators and technology professionals,” said Matt Blakely, director, Motorola Solutions Foundation. “As a company dedicated to helping people be their best in the moments that matter, Motorola Solutions could not be more honored to support programs like the R&D STEM Learning Exchange.”
Innovation Generation is a part of Motorola Solutions’ larger commitment to engaging youth in STEM education. Beyond funding, the Illinois Science and Technology Institute will receive ongoing support from Motorola Solutions employee volunteers, who will act as mentors and experts in STEM careers through the R&D STEM Learning Exchange’s work with local schools.
For additional information on the Motorola Solutions Foundation grants programs, visit: http://responsibility.motorolasolutions.com/index.php/solutions-for-community/ and for more information on the Illinois Science and Technology Institute please visit http://istcoalition.org/illinois-science-and-technology-institute/.
About The Illinois Science and Technology Institute
The Illinois Science & Technology Institute (ISTI) is a 501(c)(3) public charity and an affiliated, complementary effort to the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition. The mission of the ISTI is to advance scientific understanding and technological innovation in Illinois through discovery, education, invention, and partnership.
About Motorola Solutions Foundation
The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. The Motorola Solutions Foundation focuses its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially science, technology, engineering and math programming. For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit www.motorolasolutions.com/giving.
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© Illinois Science and Technology Coalition
Illustration by Dieter Braun