Editor’s note: This is the second in a series on Lexmark’s community outreach efforts.
Lexmark has a long-standing commitment to support the enrichment and improvement of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Our partnerships with local school districts afford us the opportunity to reach and impact students at a very early age.
“STEM education is vital to the future of a robust job market,” said David Helm, K-12 Science Learning and Innovation Specialist at Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS). “If we want to move forward, that’s what we need to be teaching. Our partnership with Lexmark is not only financial, but a brain trust in which we have common goals for the future of education.”
Here are a few of the ways Lexmark supports STEM education.
We help train those who teach STEM education
In 2013, Lexmark donated $1 million to the University of Kentucky in support of STEM education outreach initiatives. The UK/Lexmark Center for Innovation in Math and Science Education houses a training facility to provide professional development to Kentucky science and math teachers, a lab for fieldwork-based ecology education and a shared meeting room for community outreach.
We reward those who teach STEM education
INSPIRE: Lexmark’s Teaching Award was established to highlight and salute exceptional elementary, middle and high school teachers in Central Kentucky who teach STEM education. During each academic school year, up to nine teachers are awarded $1,000 to be used to promote STEM education for his or her classroom needs.
The Educating Excellence award was established in partnership with the University of Kansas School of Engineering, and recognizes outstanding Kansas and Kansas City-area high school educators in STEM education. During the academic school year, one teacher each month is awarded a $1,500 cash award.
We sponsor hands-on experience
As the full name sponsor of the Kentucky Science and Engineering Fair (KY-SEF), Lexmark has been working with the organizers to enhance this important STEM event by helping improve the marketing and execution of the annual fair. The fair also features vendor booths that give students and guests the chance to learn more about the STEM opportunities available in the surrounding areas as well as other learning opportunities through hands-on activities.
Following the fair, KY-SEF winners have the opportunity to practice their presentations and receive feedback from Lexmark scientists and engineers at a special event at the UK/Lexmark Center for Innovation in Math and Science Education, to help the students prepare for the international fair.
We give financial aid
Lexmark has partnered with the FCPS STEAM Academy to provide a $25,000 scholarship to one diverse student for a year of STEAM with intent of a four-year sponsorship totaling $100,000.
Lexmark has also supported FCPS with a $300,000 donation to fund the purchase of updated laboratory equipment for its 12 middle schools.
In Cebu, Philippines, a $100,000 donation was made to a local magnet high school to create the Lexmark Science and eResearch Lab, which focuses on technology research and education.
We teach and mentor students
Lexmark and our employees are involved in several student mentoring, fellowship and internship programs including Women in Engineering Day, Kentucky Governor’s Scholars, the GEM program and Youth Science Summit.
Several of our engineers use their company-paid Volunteer Time Off to serve in their local school systems by substitute teaching for math and science teachers free of charge.
Read the first post in this series: Lexmark in the community: Building for the future