Local schools benefit from Bosch grants

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published March 11, 2016

WARREN/CENTER LINE/STERLING HEIGHTS — Two local school districts have received a little more than $50,000 in grant money from the Bosch Group to support their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.

The Bosch Community Fund provided a $35,798 grant to Warren Woods Public Schools for the Southwest Macomb Technical Education Consortium’s STEM middle school program. The grant money will provide nearly 2,000 SMTEC students with the opportunity to participate in robotics, Lego robotics and advancing in robotics. SMTEC is a partnership between the Center Line, Fitzgerald, Van Dyke and Warren Woods districts.

The Bosch Community Fund also provided $14,630 in grant money to Warren Consolidated Schools to support the implementation of the Engineering Is Elementary series of integrated STEM units for third, fourth and fifth grades. The project is designed to increase skill and interest in scientific and engineering fields, particularly with students from backgrounds currently underrepresented in these areas.

With more than 100 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, the Bosch Group is a global supplier of technology and services. The Bosch Community Fund was established in September 2011 and awards up to $3 million annually in grants to various nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

“We are proud to be part of a company and community that dedicates effort and resources to develop tomorrow’s workforce,” Colin Fielding, regional president of Bosch Automotive Aftermarket–Automotive Service Solutions North America, said in a prepared statement. “These grants from the Bosch Community Fund provide our local students with the opportunity to experience STEM activities that may lead to a future career in STEM.”

Karen Folger, vice president of original equipment services sales for Bosch Automotive Service Solutions North America, said those who apply for grants undergo a process.

“We meet with stakeholders in each community and discuss what their needs are,” Folger said. “We invite them to participate in general dialogue in the community. They then submit a grant application with the projected project. They can be very broad in what they want to do.”

From there, the recipients are chosen. Bosch representatives decided to offer grant money not only at the high school level, but for middle and elementary school-age students as well. Children currently in school might work for Bosch in the future.

“We’re starting really early in kids to capture excitement and enthusiasm for all activities around STEM,” Folger said. “We need young men and women who are excited about their careers.”

Along with grant money to support STEM, Folger said Bosch employees have volunteered their time at schools and other organizations to assist with robotics and Lego challenge activities.

Since 2014, the Bosch Community Fund has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to organizations in the Warren community.