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Ford STEM High School Community Challenge Awards Student Teams Using Innovation to Help Communities

  • Ford Motor Company’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program is teaming up with Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) to provide $50,000 in grants to implement six student-led high school projects
  • The initiative empowers students to use their STEAM skills to design sustainable solutions that will have a lasting, positive impact on people in their community
  • Ford STEAM adds arts to the familiar STEM curriculum to emphasize the importance of design and creativity in the development of innovative solutions 

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 14, 2017 – Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) has teamed up with the Ford STEAM program to award $50,000 in grants to creative high school students who are using their STEAM skills to advance sustainable communities and make people’s lives better.

Building on the success of Ford’s College Community Challenge, the Ford STEM High School Community Challenge was launched to empower students in the nationwide Ford NGL network to put their knowledge to work making positive changes for people in the community. Student leadership was an essential part of each winning proposal, along with the participation of community partners. Students explored real-life issues and ways to address unmet needs in technology, alternative energy, health and other areas.

Winning projects were selected by a panel of Ford reviewers with 1st place awarded $20,000, 2nd place winners awarded $10,000 each and 3rd place receiving grants of $5,000 each to implement their inventive solutions.

Representing their schools, winning teams of students will lead the following initiatives.

  • Whites Creek High School, Nashville, TN ($20,000) - Students will convert a Ford F-Series truck and a tractor to run on renewable hydrogen fuel. Students will also develop a solar farm to produce electricity and power the new hydrogen processor they plan to build.  
  • Guilford High School, Rockford, IL ($10,000) - Students will develop solar powered charging stations with LED lights throughout the city of Rockford. Students will also create an outdoor learning lab at their school with floating decks and solar charging stations.
  • Bartow High School, Bartow, FL ($5,000) - Students will host #PolkHacks, a hack-a-thon for underserved youth ages 13-18. Students will engage business and tech professionals as they develop applications to solve a local problem during a 3-day event.
  • Harlingen High School, Harlingen, TX ($5,000) - The Skeeterbots team will program and outfit drones to battle the high population of mosquitoes in the Harlingen Community.
  • Newton College and Career Academy, Covington, GA ($5,000) - Students will transform a school bus into a mobile learning lab to help members of the community explore STEM.
  • Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Memorial ECHS, Alamo, TX ($5,000) - Students are creating a Community IT Engagement Center to promote the use of technology to support community economic growth. Students will share their IT knowledge will members of the community.

“Innovation and sustainability are two essential elements that will help strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for the people who call them home,” said Mike Schmidt, director, Education and Global Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Through creative initiatives like the Ford STEM High School Community Challenge, we hope to encourage innovative approaches to learning that spark student interest and imagination.”

Ford NGL is a signature program of Ford Motor Company Fund - the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Ford NGL is nationally recognized for the innovative way it is transforming U.S. high schools with career-themed academies that give students an opportunity to learn by doing in fields they’d like to explore, such as engineering or healthcare. Ford Motor Company and Ford Fund invest more than $18 million each year in forward-thinking education programs around the globe that empower people to develop creative solutions to improve the quality of life in their communities. The Ford STEM High School Community Challenge was developed to encourage students to pursue a STEAM education and help meet a growing need in business, while also helping Ford and the rest of the automotive industry develop a future pipeline of skilled technical talent.

To view this year’s winning projects and get more information please visit: www.fordblueovalnetwork.org/stem-community-challenge    

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 203,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving.  Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Next Generation Learning and other innovative programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.

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