Grant helps Kettering Young Innovators Program bring STEM to younger generation

As nearly 500 young inventors start to brainstorm new products they think the world needs, community support continues to pour in for the Young Innovators Program at Kettering University.

The Young Innovators Program recently was awarded a $6,000 grant from the Community Impact Fund and the Bruce B. Mackey Fund for Education through the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.Grant helps Kettering Young Innovators Program bring STEM to younger generation

“Through contributions from our donors, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint is pleased to support local youth through the Young Innovators Program,” said Jennifer Farrington, Program Officer. “The program is a great example of helping students think outside of the box through STEM opportunities.”

The next Young Innovators Fair will come to Kettering’s campus May 1. One hundred Genesee County students chosen to present their inventions will flood into the International Room in Kettering’s Campus Center eager to show off what they created, showcasing their data and research on display boards. Throughout the day, students will interact with Kettering students and faculty, explore a bit of Kettering’s campus and participate hands-on STEM workshops.

Recently the program also received a $3,000 grant from the Stella & Frederick Loeb Charitable Trust fund through The Huntington Private Bank in Flint.

Participating schools this year include Bentley Barhitte Elementary, Carman-Ainsworth Rankin Elementary School, Genesee STEM Academy, Grand Blanc Indian Hill Elementary School, Grand Blanc Perry Innovation Center, St. John Vianney Catholic School and Swartz Creek Dieck Elementary School.

The Young Inventors Program, now called Young Innovators, originated in Minneapolis and has a rich history of offering invention curriculum, resources and special events. The Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce and Genesee Intermediate School District offered the program to the students of Genesee County from 2000-2012. In 2013, Kettering University agreed to adopt this program as a part of the university's mission to be engaged in the Flint community as well as provide pre-college opportunities for students of all ages to gain exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The program integrates the core curriculum areas (Science, Language Arts, Mathematics and Social Studies) and applies them to real world problems to be solved, akin to the co-operative education model that Kettering University embodies.

“Grant dollars help make the Young Innovators Program possible for young kids throughout the greater Flint area. Without support from community organizations, students wouldn’t have the chance to participate and dive into the world of STEM opportunities,” said Sarah Perkins, lead cooperative education manager at Kettering who brought the brought the program to campus in 2013.