Chrysler grant to Avondale Education Foundation will support district STEM programs, including new middle school girls robotics team

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Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, cell: 248.260.8466, barbara@eafocus.com; Julie Kelly, Avondale Schools, 248.537.6002, julie.kelly@avondale.k12.mi.us

Auburn Hills, Mich. —March 26, 2015—- Avondale School District, an achievement-oriented learning community focused on student leadership and success in academics, the arts and athletics, announces the Avondale Education Foundation has received a $7,500 grant from the Chrysler Foundation to support and foster development of innovative science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs for students in grades K-12.

The Avondale Education Foundation’s mission is to support student development, promote excellence through creative teaching and foster community and school partnerships by securing and allocating financial and other resources to create or expand education related enrichment projects and programs offered through the Avondale School District. A portion of the Chrysler Foundation grant is being used to launch the district’s first all-girls robotics team in fall 2015 at Avondale Middle School. The team is led by science teacher, Laura Amatulli.

“Boys dominate the robotics engineering extra-curricular activities, yet this in an excellent way to introduce girls to careers in engineering, math, technology and science and to plan their high school academic curriculum accordingly,” Amatulli said.

The existing Avondale Middle School co-ed teams will also receive funding to expand the program and purchase needed equipment. The Avondale High School co-ed team will also be supported by the grant. Additionally, the $7,500 will also help cover tournament fees.

The middle school students build VEX Robots and program them to perform precision tasks while the high school students build FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in STEM Academics) robots. All teams will be working with Oakland University students who will serve as programming and development mentors. Both the middle school and high school teams will compete at Oakland County events and winning students will have an opportunity to continue to compete at the regional level. The last district event will be held on April 3 and 4 at Troy Athens High School in Troy. Avondale Superintendent, Dr. James Schwarz, expressed his appreciation to the Chrysler Foundation.

“We are grateful to the Chrysler Foundation for their generous support of the Avondale Education Foundation,” Dr. Schwarz said. “Through this $7,500 grant, our students will see an immediate increase in STEM opportunities and increase their knowledge and exposure to technical skills and careers including engineering. Chrysler understands this type of private support of public education has a positive impact on future generations of employees and we encourage other companies to consider supporting public education following the Chrysler Foundation’s example.”

About the Chrysler Foundation
The Chrysler Foundation focuses their funding on the following areas: Education – specific concentration on K-12 science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) programs; and broader support for post-secondary level business, design, engineering, finance, manufacturing and supply chain management programs. Military – assistance for active, retired and disabled military service members and their families. Multicultural / Diversity organizations that promote inclusion and advancement opportunities for diverse populations. Youth Development – organizations that provide mentoring and related assistance to aid youth with the transition to becoming successful adults. Learn more at http://grantsoffice.com/GrantDetails.aspx?gid=8381.

About Avondale School District
Avondale School District is a collaborative community of teachers, staff and families working together to assure student success. The district, encompassing portions of Auburn Hills, Bloomfield Township, Troy and Rochester Hills, celebrates the richness of a diverse student population and strives to be a model school community that prepares students to be lifelong learners and contributing citizens to the world that awaits them upon graduation. Learn more about Avondale Schools, an AdvancED accredited district, at www.avondale.k12.mi.us.

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