Laboratory professional.
The new Chevron and Fab Foundation scholarship will support STEM educators around the world. Photo: Pixabay.

Chevron and Fab Foundation introduce global scholarship for STEM educators

The scholarships will be $10,000 stipends.


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There's a new global scholarship for STEM educators to learn, create, and promote innovative and inclusive programs for their students.

Using digital fabrication and engaging new and diverse student populations in STEM education and careers, the Chevron Corporation and Fab Foundation gave the first $10,000 scholarships to Nathan Pritchett of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Pieter Verduijn of Calabas, Aruba.

Jennifer Michael, social investment manager at Chevron, stated:

Chevron’s commitment to support professional development for STEM educators runs deep.

The new grant

Leveraging Chevron's social investment strategy and the global Fab Lab network, which foster innovation, both will work in partnership to inspire young people around the world to learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The new grant awards a $10,000 stipend to each selected educator to use in creating and disseminating new and inclusive practices around STEM education.

The fellows, who will visit a few Fab Labs of their choice anywhere in the world to learn, reflect, co-create a new curriculum, and disseminate new practices, will publish the results of their work through podcasts, online blogs and engagements at conferences and educational events over the next year.

“Programs such as the Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship will continue to inspire the next generation of problem solvers to help meet the world’s future energy needs,” added Michael.

Get to know the winners

Educators from 21 countries, including the United States, Spain, Italy, India, Qatar, Nepal, Mexico, Peru, and Kazakhstan, applied for the stipend.

The judging panel for the competition included four experts in digital manufacturing, education, and STEM outreach: Andrea Fields, an educator and engineer from Cleveland, Ohio; Karen Rawls, senior social investment advisor from Houston, Texas; Brent Richardson, artist and educator from Waco, Texas; and Corin Slown, associate professor of science education at California State University, Monterey Bay of Monterey, California.

Pritchett is the CEO of Fab Lab Tulsa, a nonprofit makerspace located in the Kendall-Whittier neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma, that provides community, educational, employment, and entrepreneurial programming that teaches innovation, design thinking, resolve problem solving and change creation, and open and equitable access to 21st century advanced manufacturing and digital manufacturing tools, equipment, and technology.

Pritchett is a technologist and futurist, guiding the vision for the organization's creator culture, and targeted outreach programs that empower current and future creators. Pritchett won based on his Green Power Racing educational project with high school students in Tulsa.

Verduijn was born in the Netherlands and lives and works in Aruba. He is a multilingual educator with 18 years of experience in the Dutch, Aruban and U.S. education systems. At the International School of Aruba (ISA), Verduijn is a STEM teacher and EdTech coordinator. In his role at ISA, he creates and teaches engaging STEM lessons in an educational maker space.

In addition to teaching, he works to promote the maker movement locally and globally by organizing teacher training sessions and youth projects. Getting children to create their imaginations is key to his teaching philosophy. Verduijn won for his Art Toys project, in which students design and make their own toys.

"The Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship will serve as a platform to unite community stakeholders to take bold action towards breaking down long-standing barriers for student success in the STEM fields and ensure 21st century career readiness and global competitiveness. We are excited to grow our STEM educational partnership and impact across the world. The Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship will deepen a network of science and technology experts committed to advancing innovation and collaboration to learn about successful, inclusive and accessible STEM teaching practices that can emulate in Fab labs, classrooms and maker spaces across the world,” said Sherry Lassiter, president and chief executive officer of Fab Labs. 

Chevron has supported Fab Labs and maker movements in support of STEM education for more than 10 years. The association created a substantial and impactful network of educational labs in the communities where it operates by engaging with more than 100,000 students and community members across Chevron's operations.


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