Teaching STEM in underserved communities
In the summer of 2020, the racial inequities displayed in the US and around the world prompted one of our employees at our Circleville, Ohio, site to wonder how he could take our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) beyond the company’s four walls. After recruiting other site leaders and colleagues, DuPont Circleville formed partnerships with local organizations with similar goals, and the program GROW (Go Reach Out into the World) was born. Its mission: to serve students who need us most, in a way that inspires, encourages, and supports their pursuit toward higher education, with a focus on science, technology and math (STEM) subjects.
GROW partners include Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Ohio (BGCCO), the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Columbus-based nonprofit I Know I Can, whose mission is to help young students achieve the dream of a college education. With input from these partners, engineers at our Circleville site began building a 12-module curriculum. BGCCO provides the junior high-age audience and the infrastructure to provide instruction, transportation, and supervision of the events. Nearly 75% of these young people identify as Black or African American, 23% come from households with an annual income under $5,000, and 50% are female. Virtually all would be first-generation college students, should they choose that path.
GROW’s design includes classroom-style instruction along with tours of local corporations, different kinds of colleges, and the local science museum—helping students discover their own interests, abilities, and passions. Despite highlighting STEM subjects, the program seeks to provide guidance to students interested in studying any field.
Another significant feature of the program is that it can be duplicated at our other sites, largely due to the partnership with national organizations. GROW kicked off officially in January 2021.
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Read more stories about how DuPont is building thriving communities in our Stories Hub...