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PGE Foundation Grants $17,500 for Explorations for Teachers; South Metro-Salem STEM Hub Commits 6 New Members

Dec 10, 2014
Portland General Electric’s corporate foundation recently awarded a $17,500 grant to the Oregon Tech Foundation in support of South Metro-Salem STEM Hub (SMSP) STEM Explorations for Teachers
WILSONVILLE, ORE. – As a testament of commitment to STEM, the PGE Foundation — Portland General Electric’s corporate foundation —recently awarded a $17,500 grant to the Oregon Tech Foundation in support of South Metro-Salem STEM Hub (SMSP) STEM Explorations for Teachers.
The PGE Foundation grant will help SMSP to engage STEM industry partners in the development of themed STEM career exploration days for regional middle and high school teachers. Each themed day will include tours of local STEM industry worksites, a short workshop for participants in which they engage in a hands-on project that is transferable to their classroom environment, and provision of materials to conduct the activity in their own classroom. Workshops will be co-developed by a K-12 master teacher and a STEM industry practitioner, marrying the teacher's knowledge of state STEM standards and developmentally appropriate teaching with the deep content knowledge and real-world application brought by a STEM professional. This format will expose teachers to new STEM environments and provide them with relevant, contextualized teaching tools that are tied to the theme of the day.
“The project will address the need to connect students to real-world STEM learning by connecting their teachers with the world of work,” said Melissa Dubois, SMSP director. “We want and expect teachers to provide students with the best learning experiences possible, to engage them in their learning and help them to create new knowledge for themselves, but we fail to acknowledge that teachers frequently lack personal knowledge of how STEM content is used in the real world, what careers are available to students with various STEM interests, and especially what opportunities are available to students who may not be interested in pursuing a four-year degree.”
The project is part of a larger partnership effort to help teachers understand and teach STEM in the context of real-world problems. STEMOregon Connections is being developed by the partnership as a key strategy for connecting teachers to the broader STEM community. 
The SMSP also celebrated the addition of six new members this fall. The six new partners, Central School District, 3D Systems, George Fox University, Girls Incorporated of Pacific NW, Wilsonville Public Library, and Oregon Computer Science Teachers Association, have joined the coalition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Partners, organized by Oregon Tech, to engage students in experiential learning and catalyze Oregon students to achieve more STEM degrees and certificates.
The SMSP is a collaborative of community leaders, representing 15 school districts, 7 higher education institutions, 11 industry partners, and 14 community organizations, and now boasts 47 partners. 
For further information contact Melissa Dubois at 503-821-1169 or Melissa.Dubois@oit.edu.
About Oregon Tech
Founded in Klamath Falls in 1947, Oregon Institute of Technology is the only public 4-year institute of technology in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon Tech provides degree programs in engineering and health technologies, management, communication, and applied sciences that prepare students to be effective participants in their professional, public, and international communities through hands-on learning. Oregon Tech has a full-service, residential campus in Klamath Falls and an urban, industry-focused campus in Wilsonville. Visit www.oit.edu to learn more about Oregon Institute of Technology.
About the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership
The SMS STEM Partnership is a collaborative of community leaders, representing 15 school districts, 7 higher education institutions, 11 industry partners and 14 community organizations, with a vision to catalyze Oregon students to achieve STEM degrees and certificates, and reach Oregon’s education goals by increasing the access, excitement and engagement of students in STEM courses and experiential learning.
About the PGE Foundation
The PGE Foundation, the corporate foundation of Portland General Electric, was established in 1997 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a permanent endowment. The Foundation’s giving is separate from the corporate giving of PGE. Since its inception, the Foundation has distributed more than $18 million to help improve the quality of life for Oregonians by supporting programs and services that encourage safe and healthy families, provide educational opportunities and encourage the arts and cultural diversity.
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