Cal Poly Pomona, along with Motorola Solutions Foundation, is helping female students excel in the STEM fields through innovative and interactive educational programs.
For two consecutive academic years, Cal Poly Pomona has received grants totaling $45,000 as part of the Innovation Generation Grant program from the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions, Inc. The grants helped launch the Wearable Electronics program and the Raspberry Pi program in the College of Engineering. These programs are part of Femineers, a college-wide program that inspires young female students to pursue education and careers in STEM.
The Motorola Solutions Foundation’s Innovation Generation program awards organizations and universities that support STEM initiatives for teachers and students— especially girls and underrepresented minorities.
“The Motorola Solutions Foundation created the Innovation Generation Grant program nine years ago to support educational experiences that spark students to turn their dreams into innovations that will shape our society’s future,” said Matt Blakely, executive director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. “Organizations like Cal Poly Pomona are teaching tomorrow’s leaders that careers in engineering and technology are both fun and within their reach.”
The Wearable Electronics program provides hands-on activities to female high school students predominantly from underrepresented minority communities in local schools. The innovative and engaging program integrates fashion and technology into its curriculum with instruction in sewing, electricity, electronics and computer programming in C language.
As a result of the program’s success, Cal Poly Pomona developed a follow-up program for more advanced students where they can develop complex products based on the new Raspberry Pi computer. The girls learn to use Python programming language, design parts for a robot and fabricate them using 3D printers.
“We are delighted with the continued success of the Femineer Program,” said Mariappan Jawaharlal, a mechanical engineering professor and leader of the Motorola grant programs. “In October 2015, Femineers was recognized by the White House as one of only 150 programs nationwide for its commitment to action as part of the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.”
Femineers has expanded to reach 10 local schools and plans are in progress to replicate the program nationwide beginning this academic year.
The Motorola Solutions Foundation grant program will impact about one million students and teachers in North America, each receiving an average of 120 programming hours from partner non-profit organizations and institutions. Programs will support special populations including girls and women, underrepresented minorities, the LGBT community, people with disabilities and veterans.
For additional information on the Motorola Solutions Foundation grants programs, visit: https://responsibility.motorolasolutions.com/index.php/solutions-for-community/ and for more information about Femineers, visit: https://www.cpp.edu/~engineering/diversity/cppwe/femineers.shtml.