The Bayer USA Foundation has awarded a $279,000 grant over a three year period to the Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) program. “As the face of America changes, we must tap the talents of all of our citizens in the name of continued innovation and competitiveness,” said Greg Babe, president and CEO of Bayer Corporation and chairman of the Bayer USA Foundation.
The grant was made on the same day Bayer Corporation hosted its second STEM education diversity forum: “Bridging the Diversity Gap: Introducing STEM Industries to K-12 Best Practice Programs.” The forum showcased a number of programs that have a proven record of helping girls and underrepresented minorities to participate and achieve in STEM for San Francisco Bay- and Silicon Valley-area STEM industry leaders.
With this latest grant to MESA, Bayer USA Foundation has expanded Making Science Make Sense® throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Making Science Make Sense is Bayer’s company-wide initiative that advances science literacy across the United States through hands-on, inquiry-based science learning, employee volunteerism and public education.
“As the philanthropic arm of Bayer Corporation, Bayer USA Foundation is strategically aligned to support our corporate social responsibility initiatives, notably Making Science Make Sense, and Bayer’s concerted efforts to attract more girls and underrepresented minority students to science, technology, engineering and math careers. In this we share a common cause with MESA,” said Greg Babe, President and CEO of Bayer Corporation and Chairman of the Bayer USA Foundation.
“As the face of America changes and other companies increase their own investments in STEM, as a country, as a company and as individuals, we must more aggressively tap the talents of all of our citizens in the name of continued innovation and competitiveness,” he said.
The new Bayer USA Foundation grant will establish and sustain a center in the East Bay region of California. The MESA Center will serve some 11,000 middle and high school students in 53 schools in six districts with a rigorous hands-on math/science curriculum and college/career preparation program proven to increase their chances of achieving academically and professionally, as well as making positive, lifelong contributions to their communities.
The grant will also support day-to-day operations to deliver MESA’s academic preparation services in math and science. These include curriculum development, general assistance, teacher training, materials and supplies, food and travel.
“We view our investment in the new MESA Center as an excellent complement to Biotech Partners, the hands-on biotechnology school-to-career program for high-school and community-college students we created with the City of Berkeley in 1993. Our hope is that we can attract many of our MESA students to this nationally recognized biotechnology education program,” said Joerg Heidrich, SVP and global head of product supply—biotech and Berkeley site head.
“We are enormously grateful to Bayer and the Bayer USA Foundation for this most generous support,” said Dr. Oscar Porter, executive director, California MESA. “At MESA, our two most critical keys to success have been our hands-on approach to the real-world learning of science and mathematics, as well as our ability to look at and treat students as individuals and work with them accordingly so they can succeed.”
Dr. Porter added that, as with all MESA Centers, the new East Bay Center will provide comprehensive college and career preparation; study skills and leadership development; visits to college campuses; development of an individual academic plan for each student; SAT/PSAT test preparation; and parent, community and corporate-involvement opportunities.
MESA’s East Bay Center will also give students a chance to participate in MESA’s annual Engineering Design Academy and Competition (MESA Days) through which students build scale model machines and devices that correspond to the grade level-appropriate subject matter and that conform to state standards.