Motorola Solutions Foundation Provides $2.8M in Innovation Grants
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 | Comments

Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, announced that it will grant $2.81 million to organizations to promote science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education with a focus on women and minorities.

About 1 million students and teachers will receive an average of 120 programming hours from the foundation’s partner nonprofit organizations during the upcoming school year. Programs will support students of all backgrounds with an emphasis on special populations underrepresented in STEM fields, including women and minorities.

“The vast majority of recommended programs support hands-on opportunities in engineering and/or technology,” said Matt Blakely, executive director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “This year we’ve expanded the number of grants that provide technology education focused on public safety.”

The Innovation Generation grant program, in its ninth year, was awarded through a competitive review process to 83 organizations. All recommended programs currently engage Motorola Solutions employees as volunteers or offer opportunities for future involvement.

A few examples of the projects the grants will support include:

• American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) will work with two middle and/or high schools serving primarily Native American students to build the capacity of eight educators to incorporate teaching skills related to robotics and reach up to 100 students with interactive and age-appropriate STEM education activities through robotics planning.

• A grant to Chicago Youth Centers (CYC) will allow students in the organization’s Maker Lab program learn how to code, manipulate vectors, use 3D printers and more. Students will also take networking courses in IT essentials, routing and switching, the internet of things (IoT) and network security. Certification will be available upon successful completion and demonstration of proficiency in one or more of these courses.

• The Women in Engineering/Computer Science program at Florida Atlantic University will provide about 400 female students with engineering and computer science majors with mentorship, networking events and hands-on activities. The goal of the program is to maintain students’ interest in engineering and technology by fostering a supportive culture.

• The Boys’ Club of New York will expand its STEM program and will provide about 100 low-income boys and young men of color in New York City with focused, hands-on STEM classes in engineering, robotics and more. In addition, the Science of Smart Cities program will teach students about mobile and wireless communications. Specifically, students will learn to send messages over long distances using custom-made radio frequency transmitters and receivers. They will then be tasked to build their own infrared transmitters and receivers.

• United Cerebral Palsy in Chicago will use the money for its Life Labs’ Innovation Lab, a hackathon-style program that gathers individuals with disabilities in teams to compete for the best innovation that will affect the lives of people with disabilities. The Chicagoland 2016 Innovation Lab will provide 100 college and graduate students an opportunity to learn and apply entrepreneurial methods to create solutions for people with disabilities as well as engage with expert mentors.

• Workshops for Warriors in San Diego will provide orientation, course instruction and hands-on training in computer-aided manufacturing, wielding and fabrication to 150 veterans, wounded warriors and transitioning service members.

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