AEP Foundation awards $450,000 STEM grant to strengthen Math
The Education Alliance partners with Reasoning Mind in Lincoln and Logan Counties to Implement
Charleston, WV – In an effort to meet the growing need for STEM-skilled graduates in West Virginia, today the American Electric Power Foundation announced a nearly half-million dollar grant to The Education Alliance to strengthen STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. The funding will help support the Energizing steM Education Initiative in elementary schools in Lincoln and Logan counties. Over the next several years, West Virginia is projecting to have 25,000 jobs in STEM-related fields.
“Practically every career path we have at Appalachian Power has a strong STEM component,” said Appalachian Power President and COO Chris Beam. “We need more young people who are strong in these fields to fill the jobs we have here in West Virginia and beyond.
“But it’s about more than just Appalachian Power. Improving STEM education in the state will help us attract business to the state. A strong education system helps support the economic development initiatives within the state and the industries that will help us grow our economy,” he said.
The Education Alliance, in partnership with Reasoning Mind™, is launching Energizing steM to help young students build a strong foundation in math and engage older students and their families and community members by raising awareness of STEM careers.
“West Virginia has a bright future, and we want to ensure our students have the knowledge and skills they need to be successful. A strong background in STEM skills is a key part of that preparation,” said Dr. Amelia Courts, president and chief executive officer of The Education Alliance. “The Education Alliance is extremely grateful for the AEP Foundation’s significant investment in this effort. The Energizing steM initiative will be a powerful game-changer for many students.”
The project will provide 2,200 elementary students in Lincoln and Logan counties with an effective computer-based supplemental curriculum to improve math outcomes over a three-year period. A strong math foundation will enable students to be better prepared for high school success in STEM classes.
“By providing schools with transformative educational programs that make math and learning fun and attainable, Reasoning Mind enhances problem solving and critical thinking skills and increases active engagement and confidence for students while providing instant feedback for teachers,” said Gregg Fleisher, president and chief executive officer of Reasoning Mind. “If students begin struggling, the program will revert to earlier lessons to make sure they understand the concept before moving forward, and for those students that have mastered the material, they will automatically be challenged with more intense problems.”
As part of its ongoing STEM education efforts, The Education Alliance will assist participating districts in implementing a comprehensive STEM communication outreach plan to students, families and their communities. The public engagement outreach effort will promote a greater public understanding of the need for STEM, build STEM career awareness, and provide a specific focus on the critical role of building strong Math skills.
About AEP Foundation
The AEP Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including Appalachian Power. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area. The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math and the environment, and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage.
About Appalachian Power
Appalachian Power has 1 million customers in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee (as AEP Appalachian Power). It is a unit of American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 224,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 26,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP supplies 3,200 megawatts of renewable energy to customers.
About The Education Alliance
Founded in July 1983 as the first statewide public education fund in the nation, The Education Alliance is a private-sector initiative to help businesses understand the importance of financially and resourcefully supporting the state’s public schools and to give business a voice in public education that advances policies and practices to continually improve public school student achievement in West Virginia.
About Reasoning Mind
Reasoning Mind™ is a 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to providing a first-rate math education for every child. The organization designs interactive, online mathematics programs for students that develop higher-order thinking skills, ignite their interest in math, and prepare them for algebra—the “gatekeeper” course to college. In addition, Reasoning Mind offers ongoing professional development, training, and in-person support for teachers and administrators using its programs. With Reasoning Mind, students are engaged, teachers are empowered, and technology is leveraged to provide a world-class mathematics education. Learn more at www.reasoningmind.org.