Shape's Dan Tlachac (left) and Scott Navarre (right) with students Sienna Eacker and Connor Arevalo at Oakridge Middle School. (Shape)
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers are projected to grow by 10.5% by 2030, according to the National Math and Science Initiative. Since 2021, Shape Corp., in partnership with the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation (GHACF), has awarded nearly $90,000 in grants to area schools to enhance their STEM and literacy programs.
The Grand Haven employer believes that supporting educational experiences like this will have a lasting impact on students and the community.
“It has been extremely rewarding to see how educators have used these funds to foster STEM and literacy in their schools,” says Scott Navarre, director of engineering at Shape. “They have created fun and engaging programs to teach fundamental critical thinking skills and generate interest in these areas. I look forward to the exciting development of both these pioneering initiatives and the students they inspire.”
Shape Corp. is a global engineering and manufacturing company whose purpose is to empower individuals to “Shape technology, Shape lives, and Shape communities.”
Grants facilitate hands-on learning
“The funded grants from Shape have allowed our students at Oakridge Schools to explore topics using a hands-on approach to learning,” says Chad Majeski, a teacher at Oakridge Middle School. “Grant funds were used to purchase robot kits that required students to build the robot prior to controlling it. Without the support of Shape, Oakridge students would not have the opportunity to explore robotics and drones in such a wonderful manner.”
Through an application process, Shape awards grants to K-12 schools in Ottawa and Muskegon counties, supporting projects that emphasize literacy and STEM curriculum. The grants have been used to purchase the equipment needed to launch STEM pilot programs or enhance existing programs.
“The generosity and support of Shape. and the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation is unparalleled, as always,” says Aaron West, Spring Lake Middle School Principal. “In this particular instance, it has allowed the students and staff of Spring Lake Middle School to take their educational experience into the 21st century — specifically learning robotics — and we are truly grateful.”
Shape awards grants each spring. If you’re interested in learning more about Shape’s grant program, contact Holly Cole, GHACF’s vice president of grants and program, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-842-6378.
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