Home Offshore Energy Chevron and Fab Foundation announce Global STEM Educator Fellowship

Chevron and Fab Foundation announce Global STEM Educator Fellowship

Chevron Corporation and the Fab Foundation announced the first recipients of an all-new fellowship program that supports STEM educators across the world. The ChevronFab STEM Fellowship was awarded to Nathan Pritchett of Tulsa, Oklahoma and to Pieter Verduijn of Calabas, Aruba. The Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship is a one-year discovery program for outstanding educators to learn about, create and promote innovative and inclusive programs that teach STEM using digital fabrication and engage new and underrepresented student populations in STEM education and careers.

The program is inspired by Chevron’s social investment strategy and the global Fab Lab network, both of which foster innovation, learning and invention. Fab Labs, with their suite of digital fabrication tools and prototyping machines — including laser cutters, 3D printers, vinyl cutters and milling machines — are inspiring young people across the world to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These are safe and accessible places to play, create, learn, mentor and invent.

The Fellowship awards a stipend of $10,000 to each selected educator to use toward creating and disseminating new, inclusive practices around STEM education. The fellows will visit a few Fab Labs of their choice, anywhere in the world, to learn, to reflect, to co-create new curriculum and disseminate new practices. Their work will be published in podcasts, online blogs and through engagements at conferences and educational events over the coming year.

Fellow Nathan Pritchett is the executive director of Fab Lab Tulsa, a non-profit makerspace located in the Kendall-Whittierneighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma that provides community, education, workforce and business programming that teaches innovation, design-thinking, problem-solving and change-making, together with open and equitable access to 21st century advanced manufacturing and digital fabrication tools, equipment and technology. Pritchett is a technologist and futurist, guiding the organization’s vision of maker culture, as well as targeted outreach programs that empower current and future makers. Pritchett won based on his Green Power Racing education project with middle school students in Tulsa.

Fellow Pieter Verduijn was born in the Netherlands and lives and works in Aruba. He is a multilingual educator with 18 years of experience in the Dutch, Aruban and American education systems. At the International School of Aruba (ISA), Verduijn is the STEM teacher and EdTech coordinator. In his role at ISA, he creates and teaches engaging STEM lessons in an educational makerspace. In addition to teaching, he works to advance the maker movement locally and globally by organizing training sessions for teachers and projects for youth. Having children fabricate their imagination is key to his teaching philosophy. Verduijn won based on his Art Toys project, which students design and fabricate their own toys.

Educators applied from 21 countries, including the Unites States, Spain, Italy, India, Qatar, Nepal, Mexico, Peru and Kazakhstan. The panel of judges for the competition included four experts in digital fabrication, education and STEM outreach: Andrea Fields, educator and engineer of Cleveland, Ohio; Karen Rawls, senior social investment advisor of Houston, Texas; Brent Richardson, artist and educator of Waco, Texas and Corin Slown, associate professor of science education at California State University, Monterey Bay of Monterey, California.

“Chevron’s commitment to support professional development for STEM educators runs deep,” said Jennifer Michael, social investment manager at Chevron. “Programs such as the Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship will continue to inspire the next generation of problem solvers to help meet the world’s future energy needs.”

Chevron has supported Fab Labs and the maker movements in support of STEM education for more than a decade. The partnership created a substantial and impactful network of educational fab labs in communities where it operates by engaging with over 100,000 students and community members across Chevron’s U.S-based operations.

“The Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship will serve as a platform to unite community stakeholders to take bold action towards breaking down long-standing barriers for student success in the STEM fields and ensure 21st century career readiness and global competitiveness,” said Sherry Lassiter, president and chief executive officer of Fab Labs. “We are excited to grow our STEM educational partnership and impact across the world. The Chevron Fab STEM Fellowship will deepen a network of science and technology experts committed to advancing innovation and collaboration to learn about successful, inclusive and accessible STEM teaching practices that can emulate in Fab labs, classrooms and maker spaces across the world.”

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