Bayer Foundation Awards $1.5 Million in Grants to Support Science and Environmental Education, Sustainability
(CSRwire) PITTSBURGH - November 21, 2007 - The Bayer Foundation today announced it will award a total of $1.5 million in grants over the next few years to a number of nonprofit organizations and universities for programs that foster sustainable development, science and environmental education, workforce development, diversity and the arts.
"With so many fine organizations operating such worthy programs, it becomes increasingly difficult each year to select those for funding. That said, we believe we have identified a number of organizations that are providing leading-edge educational opportunities in key areas that are both important to Bayer and among the most urgent for us, as a country, to begin addressing," said Dr. Attila Molnar, President and CEO, Bayer Corporation, and President, Bayer Foundation.
From "green" chemistry and sustainable boating and energy technologies to initiatives designed to bolster diversity and reverse underrepresentation by women and minorities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, these recent Bayer Foundation grant recipients represent eight national and regional organizations and universities working in these and other areas. They include:
American Chemical Society
The grant will be shared by two educational initiatives aimed at high school students: Project SEED and Green Chemistry High School Teacher Workshops. Project SEED will receive funding to train a new volunteer mentor and coordinator and to bring the program to Houston and pay the summer stipend for the first two SEED students there. Project SEED gives economically disadvantaged high school students, particularly underrepresented minorities, an opportunity to experience careers in chemistry-related sciences. Students work in academic, industrial or government research laboratories for 8 to 10 weeks during the summer where they perform scientific research under the supervision of volunteer mentors.
The remainder of the grant will fund two Green Chemistry High School Teacher Workshops to be held in 2008 in Pittsburgh near the Bayer MaterialScience headquarters and in Research Triangle Park, N.C., where Bayer CropScience is headquartered. These hands-on workshops, that will involve Bayer executives from both companies, will instruct teachers in the principles of green chemistry and the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.
The University will receive a grant over an eight-year period to establish the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences Scholarship/Internship program. The grant will fund scholarships/internships for 20 female and minority students. This new program is designed to be a four-year educational experience, with freshmen and sophomores serving as laboratory assistants and participating in undergraduate research projects at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, as well as visiting industrial research labs. Juniors and seniors would be eligible for additional scholarship support and intensive summer internships.
This nonprofit organization, based in Pittsburgh and dedicated to environmental science education, will receive a multi-year grant to support two of its sustainability education programs aimed at middle and high school students. The first, Green Science and Alternative Energy Excursion, will herald the arrival of the Explorer, one of the first green passenger vessels in the world and a practical model for sustainable boating technology worldwide. This new program will provide students with a standards-based field study about green building and energy technologies for boats, cars and buildings. The second, Environment, Energy and Economy, is a new experiential science program to be featured on the Explorer aimed at fostering scientific literacy and awareness of environmental issues, including watersheds and human impacts on the natural environment.
Horticultural Society of Western Pennsylvania
The Society will receive a multi-year grant from the Bayer Foundation for Phase I of the new Botanic Garden of Western Pennsylvania. Phase I involves pre-construction activities, including complete reclamation of approximately 200 acres of land leased by the Horticultural Society along the Pittsburgh Airport corridor that will become the site of the new Botanic Garden. Reclamation efforts call for "daylighting" or cleaning up abandoned coal mines, removal of significant amounts of coal and waste coal, and surface contouring, among others.
The Botanic Garden is scheduled to open in 2009 after three additional phases have been completed. In addition to its collection of regional flora, it will offer horticultural and environmental education and research programs focused on botanical issues of regional importance.
Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber Enterprise Foundation
Support to this organization will expand the career-oriented workshop, CHOICES, to 750 teens, many of them at risk of dropping out of school, in six area middle schools. CHOICES is an interactive decision-making workshop that empowers at-risk teens to achieve academic success in pursuit of their careers and life aspirations. In two hour-long sessions, business and community volunteers take students through real-world exercises intended to improve academic self-discipline, time and money management, and goal setting - all designed to increase their motivation and engagement in both their education and future.
Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania
JA will receive a grant to help support the organization's Pittsburgh's Future...Now program. Middle school students in this program will identify opportunities in the local job market for future job growth through research and interacting with local business and industry with five in-class lessons. The program will cover topics such as changes in the labor force; how demand determines wages; hiring practices; importance of benefits; and job recruitment campaigns. The experience will culminate with a student job fair competition at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, during Imagine Week 2008, April 21-25.
World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh
This grant will fund the non-partisan group's Global Diversity Initiative, which focuses on both workforce development and diversity. The initiative is designed to strengthen educational programs in the community, secondary schools, colleges and universities, and the private sector that foster greater understanding of globalization and its impact on economic, community and workforce development, as well as on the increasingly diverse international communities in Western Pennsylvania. Part of the initiative is aimed at helping companies and communities better understand their own workforce and diversity issues.
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
The PSO will receive a grant to help support the 2007-2008 season of the critically lauded Audience of the Future program. This innovative hands-on arts education program enables Pittsburgh-area high school students to plan, produce, program and implement a Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concert over the course of a season. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit the arts and music programs of the participants.
About The Bayer Foundation
The Bayer Foundation is an endowed 501(c)(3) entity and is the primary source of Bayer Corporation's philanthropy in the United States. With a programmatic focus on civic and social service programs, education and workforce development, arts and culture, and health and human services, the Bayer Foundation creates and supports partnerships that improve communities in which Bayer employees live and work.
About Bayer Corporation
Bayer Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, is a subsidiary of Bayer AG, an international health care, nutrition and innovative materials group based in Leverkusen, Germany. In North America, Bayer had 2006 net sales of 7.8 billion euros and employed 17,200 at year end. Bayer's three subgroups, Bayer HealthCare, Bayer CropScience and Bayer MaterialScience, improve people's lives through a broad range of essential products that help prevent and treat diseases; protect crops and enhance yields; and advance automobile safety and durability. In addition, Bayer Corporate and Business Services provides business-critical services and market-competitive solutions to Bayer subgroups in the North American Region.