June 21, 2022

Alcoa Foundation supports summer educational experiences

Alcoa Foundation investments are making a difference in the lives of youth across Alcoa communities this summer through STEM related camps and access to other fun learning experiences. In addition to its robust environmental programming, the foundation contributes to programs that promote equitable access to education and skills building opportunities. The foundation has invested $13 million in education and workforce development projects since 2017.

“These investments demonstrate how Alcoa Foundation works to improve access to equitable and quality education and strengthen community resiliency," said Rosa M. Garcia Pineiro, Alcoa Vice President of Sustainability and Alcoa Foundation President.

Approximately half the foundation’s annual grants go to education and workforce development programs.

Summer break is a crucial time to ensure students stay engaged in their community and have equal access to fun and educational activities while school is out of session. Ahead of the summer season, we are proudly spotlighting a few of our nonprofit partners and the important work they are implementing this summer in the communities Alcoans call home.

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Forskerfabrikken Norge AS

Alcoa Foundation’s longtime partnership with Forskerfabrikken Norge AS in Norway is offering summer STEM camps to children aged 9-12 from different social economic backgrounds. In the Summerlab course, students perform fun and engaging science experiments with real research equipment and learn about topics ranging from environment to technology. It aims to increase awareness and interest in young citizens who can help address global challenges and create a better world when they grow up.

This year students will get to know our planet and what makes the earth so unique by focusing on space. Experiments will give students a better understanding of the world around them and the importance of taking care of the Earth’s ecosystem. Forskerfabrikken spoke with Scandinavia’s first astronaut, Christer Fuglesang, about his experience on the International Space Station to gain content that will be used to inform the course. Alcoa itself has a space history. Alcoa aluminum was used in Apollo 11 and is thus a small piece of history that enabled man to take its first steps on the moon.

“Alcoa through Alcoa Foundation is a proud supporter of young curiosity and fun experiences,” said Trym Solhaug Vassvik, Manager External Affairs for Alcoa Norway. “Curiosity is what drives the world forward and much like Alcoa is turning raw potential into real progress, we want to provide the younger generation with the building blocks to unlock their potential,” he added.

Alcoa Foundation has supported Forskerfabrikken since 2013. A total of 44 summer schools and over 1075 children have been supported with the foundation’s funding.
A second foundation project with Forskerfabrikken Norge AS will provide STEM learning activities to children in kindergarten during the school year.

United Way of Southwest Louisiana

This summer approximately forty students aged 12 to 18 living near Alcoa’s Lake Charles facility are participating in service projects that build their soft skills and address a community need. The program will address education in a two-fold process by teaching others and by developing new skills and understanding in the STEM field. For example, student volunteers might teach an introductory computer class at a local library or learn about the engineering of building ADA compliant ramps for disabled elderly individuals.

United Way of Southwest Louisiana has been a partner of Alcoa Foundation for nearly twenty years. In addition to the summer service program, the partnership has provided access to books and reading materials for thousands of underserved children through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and Literacy Kit programs.

“Alcoa Foundation has helped thousands of community members in need through its long history of partnership with United Way of Southwest Louisiana. They share our passion for ensuring everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” said Denise Durel, President and CEO of United Way South Louisiana.

Girls Scouts of Southwest Indiana

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For the second summer of a two-year initiative, the foundation’s partnership with Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana (GSSI) is bringing environmental education programming to hundreds of girls in grades K-8. GSSI is offering an environmental stewardship badge program to encourage fun and safe activities that build essential outdoor skills and STEM skills to inspire them to become better stewards of the community. The program will be implemented through day and resident camps throughout the summer, hands-on outreach programs to underserved communities, and action-focused environmental service projects. In addition to the training of Scouts, 150 adult volunteers will be trained in outdoor, environmental and STEM program facilitation and outdoor safety through summer camp offerings.

“Environmental programming like ‘It is Easy to Be Green’ and ‘I’m a Naturalist – Get Outdoors with Alcoa’ summer camps are a few examples of why Girl Scouts is a great partner for Alcoa Foundation. Girls in the southwest Indiana region have numerous educational opportunities with this organization,” said Shannon Frazer, Alcoa Warrick Operations Communications Specialist.

“We are so grateful for Alcoa Foundation’s continued support,” said GSSI Chief Executive Officer Aimee Stachura.

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