2016 Best Commitment to Education Finalists

General Motors

For 30 years, GM and the GM Foundation’s strategic partnership with SAE International helps  thousands of students explore math and science concepts, increase access to the STEM field, and lay the groundwork for an innovative workforce.

This collaboration permeates throughout the entire company. Every decision made—whether to help develop STEM curriculum or reach more students—is based on business needs, GM’s employees, and the necessities within the education system.

GM was instrumental in the expansion and distribution of SAE’s A World in Motion (AWIM) program by providing financial support and mobilizing GM employees and retirees as classroom volunteers. GM currently has 1,826 volunteers in classroom helping support teachers and inspiring students to choose a STEM profession. In the last several years, GM Foundation support was largely focused in the state of Michigan reaching 13,000 students in 521 classrooms.

Lockheed Martin

The U.S. is falling behind in academic performance, ranking 25th in mathematics and 17th in science among industrialized nations. This disadvantages economic mobility, job security, and business competitiveness.

Lockheed Martin’s future success depends on a constant supply of highly trained, highly capable technical local talent. To increase student exposure to STEM, Lockheed Martin funded the pilot program for Imagine Science. Working with four of the nation’s most successful youth development organizations—National 4-H Council, Girls Inc., Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the YMCA—this first-of-its-kind collaboration designed and implemented STEM programs for youth most in need.

Imagine Science provides students with experiences that help to cultivate an interest in STEM in a sustained way. Last year, the program reached 4,044 youth in the three pilot cities, 77% of which were from low-income backgrounds. 

Microsoft Philanthropies

Science and technology are critical drivers of today’s economy, but there is a huge shortage of qualified workers and only 25% of U.S. schools have computer science (CS) classes. As a leading technology company, Microsoft not only has a business interest in increasing CS professionals, but is also well-positioned to help solve the problem.

To help increase student access to CS, Microsoft developed the Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program. TEALS pairs CS professionals with classroom educators to team-teach CS in high schools. The program delivers CS education to students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn CS in their school. Last year, TEALS deployed 475 volunteers in 131 schools, and reached 5,400 students.