Robert Bosch LLC and Bosch Rexroth Corporation have announced the latest Bosch Community Fund (BCF) grants in support of STEM education – which includes science, technology, engineering and math – important foundations for today’s students as they prepare for careers in the increasingly important fields of engineering and manufacturing.
The Bosch Community Fund awarded four grants, totaling $100,000, to three central Pennsylvania educational institutions: Lehigh University, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute and The Pennsylvania State University.
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, was awarded a $20,000 grant to support its CHOICES (Charting Horizons and Opportunities in Careers in Engineering and Science) Summer Camp. CHOICES is an outreach program designed to introduce young women in middle school to the benefits of engineering careers. The grant will specifically allow for increased and sustained capacity of the CHOICES camp and provide scholarships for girls from Broughal Middle School.
The second grant, totaling $35,000, was presented to Lehigh Career & Technical Institute, Schnecksville, to support a five-tiered approach to increasing success for high school and middle school students in STEM education, training and career paths. Funding will be applied to summer camp for seventh- and eighth-grade students, professional development for counselors and math/science teachers, as well as STEM Career Awareness night (open to all Lehigh County students) and Girls in Engineering Awareness Day for 120 young women in the ninth and tenth grades.
The third grant, totaling $45,000, was given to The Pennsylvania State University and will be split between the Lehigh Valley and University Park Campuses. The first program, the Women in Engineering Program Orientation (WEPO), provides orientation for first-year students entering Penn State and features year-round mentoring and leadership programming. It also pairs program participants with upperclassmen to support and increase retention of undergraduate women in the engineering program. The second program receiving funding is the Lehigh Valley Emerging Engineers program, which supports low-income students in their preparations to qualify for Penn State. The Emerging Engineers program offers a one-year, dual-enrollment opportunity for high school seniors in engineering and math with an emphasis on problem-solving and hands-on job shadowing with companies in the region.
The grant process involved management at Bosch Rexroth in Bethlehem reaching out to different charitable and educational institutions in the Lehigh Valley, informing them of support Bosch Rexroth could make available through the BCF. Several institutions submitted proposals outlining utilization plans. After careful consideration, these four programs were selected.
“Bethlehem senior management is very excited with the programs selected at these schools. We will be looking for ways to engage Bosch Rexroth associates to help implement these programs,” said Andreas Torell, vice president and commercial plant manager, Bosch Rexroth.
According to Manfred Hahn, vice president and technical plant manager, Bosch Rexroth, “Bosch continues to search for ways in which we can give back to the community. Supporting programs like these is an important aspect of our company culture and contributor to our long-term success.”
“Helping to foster students’ interest in and excitement about STEM-related careers is a priority for Bosch,” said Berend Bracht, president and CEO of Bosch Rexroth Americas, who also serves as chairman of the Bosch Community Fund Board of Trustees. “We strive to provide resources to teachers and offer positive opportunities for students. Industry working in concert with academia is key to helping develop the next-generation STEM workforce. Preparing students for these jobs is crucial not only to the growth of the individual, but also to industry and to the communities in which they live and work.”
David Wu, Ph.D., dean and Iacocca Professor of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, Lehigh University, said, “Our CHOICES program galvanizes middle-school girls to investigate their interests in engineering and science. Since we began the program in 1996, more than 1,300 girls have learned that engineering is cool, and more importantly, given the ongoing gender gap within technology disciplines, that engineering is for women. We are grateful that support from the Bosch Community Fund will further strengthen a successful program that inspires girls in our Lehigh Valley community.”
“LCTI is so pleased to receive this grant, and we are very thankful to Bosch Rexroth,” said Sandra Himes, executive director, Lehigh Career & Technical Institute. “The funds will provide us with the opportunity to promote manufacturing and STEM careers available here in the Lehigh Valley. LCTI is committed to developing the workforce in our region and we have invested significantly in our manufacturing sector programs. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Bosch to expand our outreach to inform the public, students, parents, and schools about the great opportunities awaiting those who choose the pathway to the manufacturing and STEM careers.”
“Bosch Rexroth funding will catalyze gender diversity solutions and measurably impact retention of women in engineering,” said Cheryl L. Knobloch, director, Women in Engineering Program, Penn State University. Penn State WEP is eager to launch a strategic partnership with Bosch Rexroth to facilitate professional networking with world-class women engineering undergraduates, yielding a greater number of engineering women in the Bosch Rexroth pipeline.”
“I can certainly say that we are excited to bring Bosch Rexroth’s vision of summer academic camps for high school students in math, science, and technology to reality,” said Nancy Coco, M.Ed., director, Corporate and Community Education, Penn State Lehigh Valley. “As an enhancement to our longstanding Emerging Engineer Professionals dual-enrollment program for high school seniors, the STEM camps will orient students to the field of study and ready them for the anticipated rigors of credit coursework. It is with support provided by companies like Bosch that we can train the next generation of scientists and engineers. We are tremendously appreciative.”