US2020 Honors National STEM Award Winners, Announces New Name

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Newly Named Mentors + Makers Network awards BASF Agricultural Solutions, Carnegie Science Center, EnCorps STEM Teacher’s Program, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

CINCINNATI, OH, August 8, 2019 – US2020, a division of Citizen Schools that partners with communities to dramatically scale the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching underrepresented youth, announced the winners of its fourth annual US2020 STEM Mentoring + Making Awards today. Presented by sponsor Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the awards are a national platform to celebrate and encourage exceptional work in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) mentoring and maker-centered learning. At the annual convening, US2020 also unveiled a brand refresh, starting with a new name, Makers + Mentors Network, to reflect the growth of the national STEM initiative.

“The response we see from the field is always exciting,” said Citizen Schools CEO, Emily McCann. “Quality, skills-based mentorship and learning programs are crucial for young students, so to know that so many organizations are constructing those kinds of opportunities is extremely gratifying.”

The US2020 STEM Mentoring + Making Awards included four categories, and this year’s winners are:

The Excellence in Corporate Culture award recognizes companies that are promoting and supporting a culture of STEM volunteerism across all levels of their business operations. This year’s winner, BASF Agricultural Solutions organizes an annual Day of Service, where approximately 80 BASF volunteers conduct science experiments and mentorship sessions with low-income, Title 1 middle schools. 

Excellence in Public-Private Partnership showcases effective and innovative cross-sector collaborations. These groups are utilizing the combined resources of corporations, nonprofits, civic leaders, and school districts to rapidly scale STEM and making efforts in their communities. EnCorps STEM Teacher’s Program brings together Fellows, who are trained STEM industry professionals, to work 72 hours a semester with mentor teachers. EnCorps has also been recognized for its partnership with the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute.

The Most Innovative Maker-Centered Learning Program of the Year award recognizes those who have taken a unique, creative and effective approach to expanding maker-centered learning within their communities by supporting educator professional development, hosting events that engage and celebrate student maker projects and the creation of spaces that foster these experiences. Mentors in the Making, a program from Carnegie Science Center, matches STEM professionals 1:1 with underrepresented high school students for rigorous 6-month projects, applying the latest digital fabrication techniques toward solutions that benefit their community.

The Diversity and Inclusion Program of the Year award was created to address the most important factor in this work the diversity of youth being served through STEM mentoring and making programs. Diversity is essential to achieving educational and academic excellence, and studies show that students’ learning experiences are enriched by diversity of curriculum, faculty, and student body. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s program, Significant Opportunities in Atmospheric Research and Science (SOARS), works toward increasing the number of African-American or Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Hispanic or Latino, female, first-generation college students, veterans, LBTQIA+ students and students with disabilities to enroll and succeed in graduate school for atmospheric and related sciences.

This year, US2020 incorporated “making” into the award title to reflect the growing importance and excitement around maker-centered learning across the country. Over 140 organizations participated in this year’s award series, demonstrating widespread momentum of high-quality STEM and hands-on learning opportunities. The awards were judged by a panel of thought leaders and experts on these topics from TCS, The Amazeum, Lesbians Who Tech, CCC Maker, Nepris and STEM Connector, who reviewed applications and selected the top entries. Winners were recognized at the newly built 1819 Innovation Hub at the University of Cincinnati. 1819 is self-defined as a space for thinking, making, doing, discovering, innovating, and executing, making it an exceptional venue to honor this year’s award winners. 

The awards program was created with the support of TCS, an IT services, consulting, and business solutions organization and founding leadership partner of US2020. Since its inception, TCS has maintained US2020’s platform to connect STEM mentors with strong volunteer placements, who are in turn able to provide to high-impact mentoring opportunities with top nonprofits working across different grades, settings and delivery models. Other supporting organizations of US2020 include Amgen, Arconic Foundation, Genentech, and Schmidt Futures. 

“Congratulations to the winners, who represent the highest standards of excellence in transforming student outcomes through mentoring and making. Through innovative, immersive and inclusive programs that serve youth that are traditionally underrepresented, they are empowering the next generation of changemakers and leaders,” said Balaji Ganapathy, Head of Workforce Effectiveness, TCS.

These winning organizations are creating impactful opportunity for underrepresented youth and advancing 21st century STEM careers in America. US2020 and TCS join in celebrating these exceptional civic efforts to ignite moments of discovery for the next generation of leaders in STEM.

After 6 years branded as US2020, the national network now serves over 22 cities and over 1,000 organizations. The new name, Makers + Mentors Network, brings in the Maker movement, highlights the mentorship aspect of STEM volunteers and signifies a renewed focus on collective impact.


Media Contact
Megan Salgado — Makers + Mentors Network
megansalgado@citizenschools.org | 804.504.6385

About Makers + Mentors Network

Makers + Mentors Network, formerly US2020, a division of Citizen Schools, partners with communities to dramatically scale the number of STEM professionals mentoring and teaching students through hands-on projects with a focus on serving underrepresented youth, especially girls, underrepresented minorities, and low-income children. The network is supported by national partners: Amgen, Arconic Foundation, Genentech, Schmidt Futures and Tata Consultancy Services. TCS has supported US2020 as a founding sponsor since 2013. Through partnerships at the national level and coalitions at the city level, US2020 has built a network of more than 1,000 organizations in 22 cities actively working to scale the STEM mentoring field, to align the field on common metrics, and to advance a focus on quality. Makers + Mentors Network partner coalitions are projected to serve over 150,000 youth in 2018-19. To learn more, visit www.us2020.org.

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support, in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visitwww.citizenschools.org