SAN RAMON — It’s a simple idea — give a group of gifted young students a real-world problem to tackle, allow them to innovate and watch them come up with a solution.
That’s the goal of the ‘Innovation Portal’ — a joint STEM project between Chevron, John Deere and Project Lead The Way.
“Our innovative partnership has brought rigorous, project-based engineering curriculum to more than 100 schools in 10 states to encourage students to pursue STEM education and careers,” said Blair Blackwell, manager of the Education and Corporate Programs at Chevron.
Through its partnership with PLTW since 2009, Chevron has worked with the organization to bolster STEM education in communities throughout California, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington D.C., and West Virginia.
In 2014, Chevron helped fund the enhanced development and expansion of the Innovation Portal, a free and open-source platform open to students, teachers, and project mentors that enables students to showcase their work and share it with mentors, universities, and businesses.
Each year since, the partnership has sponsored the Engineering Design Competition. This year, student teams in grades 9-11 around the country worked on innovative projects to improve product packaging.
The winning project will be awarded a $5,000 grant and Beats by Dre Headphones for each team member.