Northbrook, Ill. March 26, 2015 – The Astellas USA Foundation today reaffirmed its commitment to inspiring the next generation of scientists by awarding grants to the Museum of Science and Industry, Science Buddies and the iBIO Institute’s Stellar Girls program. The three contributions total a collective $200,000 and will enable greater access to students across the nation, with a focus on the Chicago area. These three organizations utilize hands-on educational and mentoring initiatives to encourage students in grades K-12 to pursue careers in Science, Engineering, Technology and Math (STEM).
This is the fourth consecutive year the Astellas USA Foundation has provided funding for Science Buddies and the iBIO Institute. In 2011, the Astellas USA Foundation began their partnership with iBIO Institute by providing start-up funds to launch Stellar Girls, an after school science program offered to more than 300 girls in the Chicago area. The long time partnership with Science Buddies supports an online forum for students to connect with real-life science and engineering role models. This is the Foundation’s first grant to the Museum of Science and Industry’s after-school science club.
“Providing real-world, hands-on experience is a proven way to instill a passion for STEM topics in our youth,” said Jeff Winton, president of the Astellas USA Foundation. “The Astellas USA Foundation believes it is critically important to support organizations that reach directly into classrooms and after-school programs to provide these types of first-hand learning experiences.”
In the U.S., despite an increasing demand for STEM jobs, not enough students demonstrate the interest or proficiency to fill these spots in the workforce. According to the National Math and Science Initiative, only 44 percent of high school graduates are ready for college-level math and only 36 percent are ready for college-level science.[i]
About The Astellas USA Foundation
The Astellas USA Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation that awards grants to support charitable, scientific, literary and educational purposes. To learn more about Astellas USA Foundation please visit www.astellasusafoundation.org.
About the Museum of Science and Industry
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. From groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to hands-on opportunities that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Center for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE), the Museum offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to MSI’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. For more information, visit msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414 or (800) GO-TO-MSI outside of the Chicago area.
Science Buddies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit software and content developer that builds online communities, resources, and tools for informal science and engineering education. Science Buddies is best known for its award-winning, 15,000-page website (www.sciencebuddies.org) and its library of more than 1,000 Project Ideas (scientist-authored outlines that guide students in doing hands-on science projects). The mission of Science Buddies is to help children from all walks of life build their literacy in science and technology so they can become productive and engaged citizens in the 21st century.
About iBIO Institute EDUCATE Center
The iBIO Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on orchestrating business leadership in delivery of world-class, educational programs and job-creating new technology ventures. The Institute’s EDUCATE Center delivers industry-led science and math programs for teachers and students, thereby inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping restore America’s leadership in technology education. EDUCATE’s hands-on, inquiry-based STEM programs have impacted over 900 teachers and 70,000 Illinois students since 2003.
[i] National Math and Science Initiative. STEM Education Statistics. https://www.nms.org/AboutNMSI/TheSTEMCrisis/STEMEducationStatistics.aspx (Accessed March 2015).