Woodward makes $152K contribution to Discovery Center

Funds will provide hands-on STEM learning for area students, teachers and general public

ROCKFORD – The Discovery Center on Wednesday announced that the Woodward Charitable Trust is giving $152,400 to the museum to provide a two-year STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education program.

The funds will be used to develop focused field trips for area students; professional development for educators; and permanent and travelling exhibits, including a “Comets, Asteroids, Meteors: Great Balls of Fire!” travelling interactive feature, the museum said.

“We are deeply committed to supporting the region’s advanced manufacturing and developing STEM talent with a long-term view,” said Sagar Patel, President of Woodward’s Aircraft Turbine Systems, in a statement. “In order to compete in the world, our region needs to nurture and develop our own STEM talent.”

“The Rockford School District appreciates Woodward’s continued commitment to RPS and regional students and faculty through this generous financial commitment,” explains RPS 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett. “We are excited that STEM based experiences will be available to enrich the lives of our students.”

According to Julie Morris, Harlem School District Superintendent, “Goal two of our District Long Range Plan states that we will ‘equip students with 21st century skills incorporating practical experiences that contribute to the success of their community.’ We are very excited that Woodward has joined forces with Discovery Center Museum to provide these critical STEM experiences for our third grade students and their teachers. This opportunity will help to create an awareness of and excitement for STEM topics and careers.”

–Staff report

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