STEM Education Gets Boost from Grant to Establish Lockheed Martin Space Education Center

Written by: developer

More than 8,000 students and teachers to annually benefit from Lockheed Martin’s generosity

by Gina Taranto, Space Foundation Director – Philanthropy

A grant from Lockheed Martin Corporation for an education center at Space Foundation’s World Headquarters and Discovery Center directly benefits children and educators, especially those at schools serving large concentrations of low-income and under-represented children.

Lockheed Martin, a long-time champion of future innovators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), has awarded a grant of $400,000 to establish the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center (LMSEC) in the Space Foundation Discovery Center.

“At Lockheed Martin, we’re dedicated to advancing STEM education and supporting programs that promote student achievement,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “We are proud to partner with the Space Foundation to inspire the brightest minds of the future by bringing math and science to life through interactive, real-world space exploration examples.”

Lockheed Martin funding will be used to support a variety of education programs, including the Space Foundation Teacher Liaison program. Teacher Liaisons are educators who use space-related education programs and principles in the classroom to act as advocates for STEM education in their school and districts. They receive year-round Space Foundation training and resources to further integrate STEM into classrooms. The more than 180 current Teacher Liaisons represent states throughout the U.S. as well as 20 international representatives.

The grant will also annually fund scholarships for various Colorado schools to experience a field trip to the Discovery Center. Each ‘ScholarTrip’ covers the admission fee as well as a subsidy for transportation, one of the biggest obstacles teachers face to get their students out of the classroom. More than 8,000 students and teachers have visited the LMSEC since the grant signing last fall, and 24 ScholarTrips were awarded that will serve more than 650 students and teachers from Title 1 schools throughout Colorado on field trips to the LMSEC this school year.

Lockheed Martin funding will also supply necessary STEM equipment and hardware for maximum program delivery. Already it provided much needed durable and portable tables and chairs for students and teachers to participate in hands-on STEM experiments.

“The impact we have been able to have on students and teachers in just the first few months of the grant are remarkable,” said Space Foundation Vice-President for Education and Discovery, Iain Probert. “It is exciting to think about the long-term impact that will occur over the course of the grant. Hundreds of thousands of students will be reached and inspired to be the next generation of engineers, scientists and technology professionals.”

The Lockheed Martin Space Education Center at the Space Foundation Discovery Center will be dedicated in May.

For more information on supporting STEM education programs, please call Development at 719-576-8000 or email [email protected].

This article is part of Space Watch: April 2015 (Volume: 14, Issue: 4).