Photo courtesy of MSUCreating more opportunities to motivate teachers, encourage students and empower young people to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math is the inspiration behind the new Michigan State University STEM Center for the Great Lakes Bay Region.
The collaboration has been made possible with support from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation and The Dow Chemical Company Foundation.
Together these foundations are working with MSU to invest $10 million into the MSU STEM Center, which will be located at the former Michigan Molecular Institute in Midland.
“We are proud to strengthen our already significant collaborations with MSU, which consistently ranks high in the nation for its educational programming,” said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow chairman and CEO. “By enabling our youth to become STEM problem solvers, we are investing in the shared future of our company, our community and even our planet.”
The center’s curriculum will be targeted at K-12 learners. It also will include select MSU courses for college students as well as innovative teacher enrichment programs in collaboration with MSU’s College of Education. Students, teachers and administrators from Great Lakes Bay Region school districts, including Midland Public Schools, will be engaged in programming and implementation.
“With MSU’s growing presence in Midland with the Midland Research Institute for Value Chain Creation and ongoing community investments through Momentum Midland, this partnership was a natural fit as we pursue more ways to broaden our research, educational and economic impact in Michigan,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said.
A variety of concepts are under consideration as part of the overall STEM program offerings. They include a Dow scientist-in-residence program that offers learners access to Dow science professionals; laboratories equipped with global communication technology to enable connectivity around the world; and state-of-the-art STEM programming. Initial programming is expected to be launched in May 2016.
The center is a further example of philanthropic and business support for Midland community development, similar to its support of Momentum Midland’s effort to enhance downtown Midland and the surrounding community, said Mike Whiting, president, Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation.
“The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation has a 45-year legacy of supporting scientific education and research in that very facility since the building opened in 1971,” he said. “This gift builds on that legacy and is further evidence of our desire to collaborate on community priorities, to make a collective and lasting impact.”