Motorola bills itself as a company that "helps people be their best in the moments that matter" and with their latest education grants awarded last week, they are living up to their billing.
These Innovation Generation grants, made by the company's Motorola Solutions Foundation, reached $30 million in science and engineering education grants over the last five years.
This year alone, the foundation provided $4.9 million in grants to 87 organizations across the country. Of those, 22 percent went to girls-only programming, including the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana council.
"I cannot begin to tell you what a difference this makes in our ability to put forth exciting, quality programming for girls," says Vicki King, director for new business ventures and alliances for the Girl Scout council.
This was the third year the Chicago-based Girl Scout council received grant money from Motorola. A large chunk will go to their STEM programming after school, which pairs girls with Motorola engineers in hands-on science experiments.
The grant money will reach 1,700 girls across Chicago and the suburbs.
Additionally, Motorola grant money will help support Girl Scouts participating in Lego League robotics teams. Last year, seven teams competed -- including three that reached regionals -- and this year council officials hope to nearly double that number.
Across the country, Motorola's national and local impact grants will reach more than 178,000 students and teachers, officials said, and provide nearly 18 million hours of science experiences.
"We see it as an investment in our future," said Matt Blakely, director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation, "when we're able to provide hands-on experiences to students and employees who have an interest in science, technology, engineering and math."
grants went to Palatine Township Elementary District 15's Educational Foundation, to sponsor eight elementary Lego League robotics teams and two junior high teams.
Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54's Educational Foundation received grant money to support STEM programming for approximately 600 third- through eighth-grade girls at all 22 elementary schools and five junior highs, and 125 seventh- and eighth-grade boys at the junior highs.
Other schools in the area that have benefitted are W.J. Murphy Elementary and Raymond Ellis Elementary, both in Round Lake; and Mohawk Elementary School and Chippewa Elementary School, both in Bensenville.
Also in Schaumburg, a grant went to fund the Mayor's Community Scholarships to help 15 students pursue math- and science-related studies.
Two scholarships at Harper College are funded by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, given to one "traditional-aged" student and one nontraditional student, and support approximately 30 credit hours as well as books, supplies and fees for one year.
"These organizations are playing an active role in developing the future generations of scientists, engineers and innovators in the United States," Blakely added. "It's groundbreaking work."