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 Volume 14, Issue 76  |  September 23, 2022


Trane Technologies awards $1 million gift to Project Scientist STEM program for girls

Project Scientist, a national non-profit that turns girls onto science, technology, engineering and math, will receive a grant of $1 million from Trane Technologies (NYSE: TT), payable over three years. The grant includes funding for Project Scientist to add a new mentoring program and expand internationally into Mexico.

Laguna Beach resident Sandy Marshall is the founder, CEO and visionary of Project Scientist. She’s passionate about igniting girls’ confidence believing a STEM career is obtainable for any girl. Marshall began Project Scientist in 2011 with six girls in her backyard, including her then 4-year-old daughter, Ellie. After not being able to find an adequate science program for Ellie, Marshall started her own. She and Project Scientist were honored to receive an Acumen Civic Accelerator grant. The Accelerator invests in and supports social ventures that solve pressing social and environmental issues by engaging people. A national speaker and advocate for diversity in STEM, Marshall is a trusted adviser for companies, universities, foundations and parents on how these groups can support diversity in STEM for everyone’s benefit. Her favorite woman in STEM is botanist Ynes Mexia*, because she proves that you’re never too old to dive into STEM.

Trane Technologies Papke Flores

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Courtesy of Project Scientist

Ilyana Papke-Flores is creating her own colorful crystals as part of Chemistry Month during Project Scientist’s after-school STEM Club

Project Scientist offers a virtual after-school STEM Club and virtual summer STEM camps for girls ages 4-12 in three time zones. STEM Club this spring will explore machine learning, climate change in national parks, and the chemistry of medicine and pharmacology. Eighty-five percent of Project Scientist girls come from under-resourced communities and receive financial aid from Project Scientist to attend.

Trane Technologies Hamilton

Courtesy of Project Scientist

Bailey Hamilton is making a circuit during Project Scientist’s summer camp week on electricity. She describes herself as a “math whiz” and enjoys Project Scientist both for what she learns there and who she’s with.

Trane Technologies’ collaboration with Project Scientist will support nearly 800 girls each year of the three-year commitment. The company’s employees will mentor girls and give them a behind-the-scenes look at STEM careers and workplaces. Overall, Trane Technologies has pledged $100 million and 500,000 volunteer hours to build sustainable futures for underrepresented populations.

Funding from Trane Technologies will help Project Scientist expand in the U.S. through a new virtual STEM leadership development program to empower girls ages 13 to 15 who want to pursue a STEM-focused education and career. Each girl experiences one-on-one mentoring with an accomplished STEM professional. Mentors help develop and guide girls via virtual conversations, resources and college-preparedness projects. 

Trane Technologies Simmons

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Courtesy of Project Scientist

Madison Simmons is creating her own crystals during Chemistry Month at Project Scientist STEM Club

 Project Scientist will also launch its first international initiative, a virtual pilot program for girls ages 4-12 in Mexico, slated for Fall 2022. It will be held in Spanish to inspire girls to develop their STEM talents and help increase the pipeline of qualified, diverse people in STEM fields in Mexico. This will be Project Scientist’s first program outside the US. The programming will also be available to dual-language schools in the US.

These advancements are made possible by Trane Technologies, a long-time supporter of Project Scientist. “It’s our honor to help expand Project Scientist’s impact,” said Steve Hagood, senior vice president and chief information officer for Trane Technologies who serves as Project Scientist’s board chair. “Children exposed to STEM education are not just learning new skills in problem-solving, computational thinking and collaboration – they are absorbing the signals they see. That’s why just a glimpse of people, especially women, in STEM careers can unlock new dreams for what they can be.”

Trane Technologies Marshall

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Photo by Christina Shook

Ivy Marshall, participating in Project Scientist’s 2020 summer program

 Locally, Project Scientist, based in Laguna Beach, was a sponsor for multiple Jog-A-thons, Boo Blasts and Bonanzas with LBUSD. Many LBUSD students have attended Project Scientist’s in-person programming (prior to the pandemic) as well as the virtual academy.

Project Scientist’s programming is especially important now, as the organization works to help close the learning gap caused by COVID-19. Learn more at www.projectscientist.org.

*Editor’s Note: Mexican-American botanist Ynes Mexia (1870-1938) traveled all over the Americas and was the first botanist to collect plants in what is now Denali National Park.

 

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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