On April 21, 2015, GE announced a grant to the state of Oklahoma to enhance STEM education initiatives. Jeff Immelt, GE’s Chairman and CEO, and Deb Elam, President of the GE Foundation and Chief Diversity Officer, were on hand to award $400,000 to the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST).
According to Elam, this investment in Oklahoma reflects GE’s commitment to skills development for the future. “Growth and development go hand-in-hand with educational excellence, strength in science, technology and math, and a capable, quality workforce,” she said.
STEM Empowers OK funds will support a weeklong STEM program for up to 50 students at the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) in late July and launch an open innovation challenge later this fall. OSSM is a two-year public residential high school, focused on enhancing STEM education for Oklahoma students. STEM Empowers OK will also support several internship, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for Oklahoma students as well as a new summer GE STEM Fellowship program for Oklahoma teachers.
Michael Carolina, executive director of OCAST, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with GE and OSSM in expanding STEM education opportunities for students across Oklahoma. Our state’s economy has been historically shaped by pioneers who have broken the mold in energy and other major industries with new technologies.”