UNIVERSITY CENTER (WWJ) — Saginaw Valley State University said Friday it is receiving a “significant” gift from the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation to establish the Dow Science and Sustainability Education Center at SVSU.
Dow Chairman and CEO Andrew N. Liveris announced the contribution during his keynote address during SVSU’s 50th anniversary economic summit Friday.
“Today’s life-changing innovations are developed at the intersections of many different sciences such as chemistry, biology, and materials engineering,” Liveris said. “What manufacturers need now are highly skilled workers who can navigate these intersections — scientists, engineers and professionals who can interface with the advanced technologies that are increasingly present in our plants. This is why we must invest more in STEM education, especially at universities like this one.”
The center will support increased education and research opportunities in the Great Lakes Bay Region. SVSU will partner with K-12 schools to encourage improved education in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). One visible example will be a mobile laboratory that will visit schools to spur increased interest in and understanding of science.
Another element of the center will focus on increased study of the Saginaw Bay and its watershed. The gift will support the purchase of water monitoring devices and related scientific equipment, while also funding internships for SVSU students and regional high school students. Research teams will include high school and college interns, high school teachers, and an SVSU research director; each team will study specific aspects of the Saginaw Bay watershed.
“We are very grateful for this generous gift and the opportunities it will provide for our students,” said SVSU President Eric R. Gilbertson. “The stamp of Dow – the family and the company – can be found everywhere on our campus. Numerous buildings and programs attest to our historic relationship, and we are pleased begin this new partnership to strengthen science education in our shared region, and to better understand and ultimately improve one of our region’s greatest natural assets: Saginaw Bay.”
Activity in the Dow Science and Sustainability Education Center is expected to begin in earnest in summer 2014.