The multinational energy corporation Chevron announced today it is launching an effort to improve science, technology, engineering, and math education and training in rural Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.
The $20 million Appalachian Education Initiative, according to a press release, will help bring 20 more Project Lead the Way engineering programs to tri-state K-12 schools. It will also fund the development of “energy labs” in two school districts—workspaces led by graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University where middle school students learn “about a variety of energy resources.”
The company said the initiative aims to address a 2011 study it sponsored, which found that STEM education and workforce development is lacking in rural areas. The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, and RAND Corporation are co-founding the initiative as well.
Chevron is one of many large companies to have officially endorsed the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, which are meant to prepare students for college and careers. Some critics of the standards have raised concerns that corporate groups are attempting to reduce local control over schools.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.