Hemlock Public School District was recently granted $14,000 from the Saginaw Community Foundation. The grant is to fund the Hemlock Area STEM Center.
“This latest grant from the Saginaw Community Foundations moves us that much closer to making our building a reality,” said Tom Lockwood, Hemlock’s Technology Director and coordinator for Hemlock’s nine FIRST robotics teams. Lockwood continued, “We have now passed our halfway point in fundraising; we needed to raise $278,000, and we are now at $152,000 raised.”
Hemlock’s Superintendent, Don Killingbeck states, “Our team is working on an exciting project to bring hands-on STEM skills to Saginaw County. In just four years, our K-12 robotics teams have expanded to include over 100 students and 25 adult mentors. We’re busting at the seams.”
But this project reaches far beyond Hemlock, as area robotics teams will be able to utilize the facility. Swan Valley, Merrill, St. Charles, and Freeland Schools support the project as well as FIRST in the Great Lakes Bay Region and The Great Lakes Bay STEM Alliance. Financial support has been provided by The Gerstacker Foundation, Dow Corning Donor Advised Grants, Hemlock Public School District, and the Saginaw Community Foundation.
Lockwood points out the dire need for students to explore STEM careers, “The U.S Department of Labor forecasts that next year U.S employers will be unable to fill 2.5 million job openings in STEM-related occupations; at an average salary of $85,000 per year this amounts to $200 billion in lost wages to the U.S. economy.”
The Saginaw Community Foundation awards grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, local units of government, and religious institutions.