EAST LANSING — The German auto supplier Bosch and the Bosch Community Fund have continued their support of Michigan State University with $200,000 in grants for the university’s Engineering CoRe (Cornerstone and Residential) Experience, designed to engage first-year engineering students in experiential learning opportunities, inside and outside of the classroom.
Bosch’s corporate human resources department provided $70,000, while the Bosch Community Fund awarded a $130,000 grant.
In addition, the Bosch Community Fund provided a $70,000 grant to support the university’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Success program to develop high school students’ foundational math skills before entering undergraduate programs.
“Since 2012, our collaboration with MSU has focused on promoting innovation and fostering an environment where students will stay engaged in STEM disciplines,” said Max Straub, CFO and executive vice president for Robert Bosch LLC and chair of the Bosch Community Fund. “The CoRe Experience and STEM Success programs impact students at various stages in their academic pursuits, which we hope will spark interest in pursuing STEM careers.”
Part of MSU’s College of Engineering, CoRe integrates first-year engineering academics with an engineering living-learning community to support the academic, professional and personal growth of first-year engineering students. Bosch’s $200,000 contribution will support CoRe as it engages more than 1,700 students in hands-on design projects to discover how to function in a collaborative, team-based, diverse setting and show the importance of engineering as well as the positive impact engineers have on a society.
MSU Engineering Dean Leo Kempel said contributions by Robert Bosch LLC and the Bosch Community Fund to invest in early STEM programs are both insightful and needed.
“This strong partnership helps high schools and MSU focus on fundamental readiness for college-bound and first-year students who have an interest in engineering or other STEM professions,” Kempel said. “We are grateful that our corporate partners are willing to invest in supporting these early engineering students as they begin their paths to careers as engineers.”
Added CoRe director S. Patrick Wilson: “To succeed in engineering, students must both make the grade in the classroom and choose to apply their skills, knowledge and effort to solve the important problems of today and tomorrow. Support and participation from Bosch, a global and innovative company, only increases CoRe’s opportunities to engage early engineering students in experiences that will shape their educations and, ultimately, their careers.”
In 2014, the MSU Department of Mathematics launched its STEM Success program to help students who don’t receive the pre-college math and science education needed to pursue undergraduate STEM-related degrees. Eligible students can enroll in two courses, the Math Bridge Program and Explorations of Chemistry, to help with the transition from high school to MSU entry-level courses. The Bosch Community Fund grant will support STEM Success efforts in the Detroit Public Schools, the Farmington Public Schools and the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools.
“Preparing students to enter STEM careers is a critical component to ensure we have a qualified future workforce. And it’s never too early to start the preparations,” said Pavel Sikorskii, senior teaching specialist and co-director of undergraduate studies in MSU’s Department of Mathematics. “It’s reassuring to see companies such as Bosch show an interest and be active in reaching out and engaging students. By working together, we can combine all our resources to encourage the pursuit of STEM careers.”
The renewed partnership was celebrated last week when officials from MSU and Bosch dedicated the redesigned fourth-floor lobby in East Wilson Hall. In the photo above, MSU President Lou Ann K. Simon (front row, second from right) and Engineering Dean Leo Kempel (fourth from left) cut the ribbon on the remodeling with Bosch officials and MSU students.