August 16, 2011

Public-Private Partnership Earns ISDU-46 and NAPE-EF Grant to Launch STEM Equity Teacher Academy

ELGIN, Ill., Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation (NAPE-EF) and Illinois School District U-46 are excited to announce their collaboration in securing $50,000 as part of the Innovation Generation grant program from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions Inc., to inspire students to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Through the grant, the creation of a "STEM Equity Academy" program at U-46 will engage 40 administrators, counselors and faculty from five high schools in intensive professional development to implement research-based practices to increase access, success and post-secondary transition of girls and other underrepresented groups in STEM. Beyond funding, U-46 will receive ongoing support from Motorola Solutions employee volunteers, who will act as mentors, tutors and experts in STEM careers, which utilizes the expertise of Motorola Solutions' workforce to inspire the next generation of inventors.

"NAPE-EF's mission is to promote women and girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related careers," said Mimi Lufkin, CEO of the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE). "Working in collaboration with our partners in the private sector and local school districts that can benefit by these grant partnerships is the most practical and beneficial vehicle to help achieve everyone's goals. We are grateful to the Motorola Solutions Foundation for supporting our mission in helping us establish this pilot program in Illinois. Engaging in similar efforts across the U.S. will be imperative to building a sustainable training program for the next generations of students and educators."

"Currently, the STEM courses and programs at U-46 are predominately Asian, white and male, while the student population is not," said Dr. Torres, Superintendent of U-46. "This gap in participation in STEM programs needs to be closed. Continuing to engage in grant partnerships like we are doing at U-46 is a great model for tapping into resources and opportunities at the local level to plant seeds that will continue to grow for years to come."

Last Spring, the NAPE-EF began collaborating with U-46 and several local area business partners who support the initiative to develop the grant application seeking funding for the STEM Equity Academy.

"As a third generation manufacturer, I have witnessed first-hand the tremendous lack of skills potential workers possess as they search for employment in the manufacturing industry," said Sandra Westlund-Deenihan, President of Schaumburg-based Quality Float Works Inc. and member of NAPE-EF STEM Equity Academy Industry Advisory Group who will provide advice to the project leadership, follow the progress and support the efforts of the school-based teams in implementing what they learn. "It is my goal to bring more young girls into the field of engineering and manufacturing and I look forward to continued collaboration in developing a curriculum for students that provides the necessary job skills they will need to enter the workforce."

"The future of American innovation depends on a diverse pipeline of critical thinkers who are well versed in STEM principles," said Matt Blakely, director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. "Through the Innovation Generation program, we are thrilled to partner with organizations like NAPE and U-46 to provide students and teachers with the necessary tools to explore their STEM interests and pursue innovation."

National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation (NAPE-EF) provides equity & diversity solutions for educators to help every student fulfill his or her potential through access to the entire career spectrum. These solutions include professional development, technical assistance, research, and advocacy on equity and diversity in education and career development. NAPE-EF's STEM Equity Academy, developed under the National Science Foundation funded STEM Equity Pipeline project, has been nationally recognized as a best practice for STEM teacher professional development.

About Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions focusing its funding on public safety, disaster relief, employee programs and education, especially science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates. The company achieves this by making strategic grants, forging strong community partnerships and fostering innovation. Founded in 2007, Innovation Generation Grants have awarded more than $25.5 million to STEM programs nationwide. For more information on Motorola Solutions Corporate and Foundation giving, visit

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Sandra Westlund-Deenihan

SOURCE National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity Education Foundation