California State University’s new Institute for STEM Education (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) on the Hayward, Calif., campus will receive a $600,000 grant from the Bayer USA Foundation.  This is the program’s second grant from Bayer; in 2011 the foundation provided  $540,000 to help establish the Institute as a center that addresses regional STEM education opportunities.

The Institute  expands sustainable school-to-career models like the Biotech Partners program, which was founded by Bayer and the City of Berkeley in 1992, and the Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) program. Specific focuses include:

  • Increasing the number of diverse two- and four-year STEM degree graduates prepared for careers in both industry and teaching;
  • Providing pre-service and in-service pre-K to 12th-grade science teachers with quality, hands-on curriculum and ongoing professional training;
  • Engaging all stakeholders — K-12 and higher education institutions, business, and nonprofit science organizations — to build regional networks that support students’ success; and,
  • Affording more students access to STEM Career Awareness Days and to a new year-round “Career Impact” program, among others.

“This grant further deepens Bayer’s already significant investment in STEM education in the Bay Area, home to our biotechnology business,” said Sarah Toulouse, executive director, Bayer USA Foundation.  “As a company that has long been involved in improving science education and science literacy in the Bay Area and across the United States, we have watched the growing impact of the Institute over the last three years, and have great confidence as it works to create a vibrant STEM education and professional community we believe will ultimately serve as a national model.”

This latest grant is part of Bayer’s commitment to strengthen STEM education and diversity nationwide, through its Presidential Award-winning Bayer Making Science Make Sense® (MSMS) initiative.  MSMS advances science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and a public education campaign led by astronaut, scientist and educator Dr. Mae C. Jemison.  The 2013 Bayer Facts of Science Education survey revealed that only half of the nation’s employers were able to find qualified two- and four-year STEM degree graduates for a growing number of STEM jobs.

“We are proud that the Bayer Foundation has renewed its inspiring, philanthropic partnership with Cal State East Bay,” said Leroy M. Morishita, CSUEB’s president. “In the three short years since the Institute for STEM Education was started at CSUEB, we have made significant progress in bringing coherence to the often successful but disparate efforts to improve science education throughout California, in identifying and growing effective practices that are scalable and sustainable, and in engaging additional community members in the work. We now look forward to more exciting progress that prepares the diverse populations we serve for rewarding STEM careers that are the driver of our regional economy.”

Image, Institute for STEM Education