Ford Motor Company has awarded $50,000 in grants to high school students who are putting their STEAM skills to work on innovative projects to improve the quality of life in their communities.
The Ford STEAM High School Community Challenge focuses on students enrolled in career academies affiliated with Ford Next Generation Learning – an innovative educational program of Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. The winning entries are sustainable, student-led proposals that involve community organizations and school resources to address real-life local needs. Students were encouraged to use their creativity and explore high-impact solutions in fields such as alternative energy, technology, design and mobility.
Winning projects were selected by a panel of Ford reviewers with 1st place awarded $20,000, 2nd place $10,000, and 3rd place receiving $5,000 grants to implement their inventive solutions.
The winning student teams in this year’s Ford STEAM High School Community Challenge are:
Spruce Creek High School, Port Orange, Florida ($20,000) - Students from the Academy of Information Technology and Robotics, a Powered by Ford STEAM Academy, will develop a smartphone application that enables people in disaster areas to communicate with emergency response teams, family and friends. The Text of Least Resistance project will use Wi-Fi to crowdsource within the stricken area.
Utica Center of Science and Industry, Sterling Heights, Michigan ($10,000) - Created by students at this Powered by Ford STEAM Academy, Project: Powerhouse will harness centripetal force created from gym equipment through a turbine system to reduce the harmful resources used to create electricity.
Newton College and Career Academy, Covington, Georgia ($5,000) - The STEAM Extension Project will repurpose a school bus as a mobile learning facility to teach STEAM, career skills, and promote community engagement and workforce readiness.
Harlingen South High School, Rio Grande Valley, Texas ($5,000) - The Pick Up and Charge Up project will develop mobile charging stations that are powered by solar energy. Charging stations will be connected to recycle bins and charging will be a reward for recycling.
Digital Arts and Technology Academy, Cathedral City and Palm Desert, California ($5,000) - Students will inspire kids to get excited about reading and writing through STEAM by creating and launching a digital comic book program and competition. The X-treme STEAM Comic Book Program and Competition will be judged at the Palm Springs Comic Con.
Clearwater High School, Pinellas County, Florida ($5,000) - STEAMing FORwarD is a project that incorporates STEAM curriculum in summer programming for elementary and middle school students that will expose participants to labs, research-based field trips, models, digital content and fun.
“Students can be an inspired, powerful force for good that can change their communities for the better and ultimately change the world,” said Mike Schmidt, director, Education and Global Community Development, Ford Fund. “We want to create more opportunities for them to use their imaginations and energy to meet challenges and have a positive impact on more people.”
Ford Fund invests more than $18 million each year in forward-thinking education programs that help enable social mobility and create individual and community prosperity. Ford NGL is nationally recognized for transforming U.S. high schools with career-themed academies that give students an opportunity to learn by doing in fields they’d like to explore, such as engineering or healthcare.
The Ford STEAM High School Community Challenge enhances the efforts of Ford NGL and Ford’s Corporate STEAM Council, which urges students to consider a technical education to secure good jobs and meet growing business demands, while also helping Ford develop a pipeline of skilled technical talent.
To view this year’s winning projects and get more information please visit: