GE Grants Fund Hands-on Science for Urban Students

To help today’s young people meet their science standards and train for good jobs, the GE Foundation has given high school students access to hands-on, practical experiments to develop their science skills.

One project funded by the organization saw students incubating chicken eggs and analyzing the movement of a worm. The class, in the Erie School District in Pennsylvania, was able to use microscopes, graphing calculators, science kits and other tools.

Eight-grader Corinne Dietrich enjoyed the activities:

Science is “really boring when all you do is read,” she said.

“You visualize it better and understand it better when you’re using all this technology in the classroom.”

The district was given $15 million by the GE Foundation for the project. The help came as part of the Foundation’s six-year, $200 million Developing Futures program, which aims to find innovative and exciting ways to teach science and math and improve the job prospects of high school students across the country.

This comes after a new $18 million grant by the Foundation looks to spread the initiative on a national level.

Robert Corcoran, President and Chairman of the GE Foundation, said:

“Our economy is facing an undeniable challenge – good paying jobs are going unfilled because U.S. workers don’t have the skills to fill the positions.

“We must cultivate a highly educated workforce and we see the standards as a key component to answering this challenge.”

Common Core State Standards are the new literacy and math benchmarks set out for students in 46 states, and money from the $18 million injection will boost the Student Achievement Partners, whose founders helped establish the new standards.

David Coleman is one of them. He said:

“The GE Foundation is going deep in this work and its commitment to improving public education for all students is exactly what it is going to take to seed real and lasting change.”