VINELAND, N.J. — The Corning Incorporated Foundation presented a $10,000 check on Nov. 25 to Rowan College of South Jersey in support of a program that will allow the college to partner with Millville’s Lakeside Middle School to provide enrichment opportunities in STEAM-related careers as they relate to Cumberland County.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Corning Incorporated Foundation and their commitment to partnering with Rowan College of South Jersey’s Cumberland campus, Millville middle school students now have the opportunity to explore new and exciting avenues of learning,” said RCSJ president Frederick Keating. “This community partnership brings new experiences to a new generation, while encouraging curiosity, creativity and innovation.”
Corning Incorporated Foundation provides hundreds of direct cash grants each year to communities where Corning has a strong presence, such as Corning Pharmaceutical Glass in Vineland. Three categories — education, human services, and culture — are the focus of these grants.
In supporting education, the Corning Incorporated Foundation has placed particular emphasis on STEM — science, technology, engineering, and math. This aligns with Corning’s identity in research and technical innovation, and addresses the needs of future workers. Because the arts are also essential in a vibrant community, the Corning Incorporated Foundation supports STEAM — an educational approach that uses science, technology, the arts, engineering, and math as a way to guide student inquiry and critical thinking.
“This grant will encourage girls to explore STEAM fields and show them a different way to value the arts. Through hands-on learning, these middle school students will be exposed to the creative process and meaningful collaboration, which will increase critical thinking and a unique way of problem solving. They will acquire new skills and discover the world of innovation,” said James Piccone, RCSJ Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Cumberland campus.
The first cohort of female students from Lakeside Middle School will concentrate on “Art: Putting the ‘A’ in STEAM.” At the college’s Arts & Innovation Center in Millville, the girls will learn to use computer software for 3-dimensional clay printing — a fun activity that introduces the students to advanced manufacturing technologies. The students will also experience hand-building methods with clay, and participate in discussions about careers in graphic arts and ceramics technology.
Local Corning employees will have the opportunity to serve as volunteers where appropriate in the program.
“The Corning Incorporated Foundation’s commitment to encouraging female students at Lakeside Middle School to pursue STEAM-related career paths reflects a vision — shared by Rowan College as well as Cumberland County Freeholders — that STEAM education is the key to supporting a modern tech-based local economy that will provide great opportunities for our children here in Cumberland County,” said Freeholder Director Joseph Derella.
“We are so grateful to both Corning and the Arts and Innovation Center for providing this amazing opportunity for our students,” said Stacey Musey, Math and Science department chair for the Millville School District. “Unfortunately, women are significantly under-represented in the world of STEM careers. We are always striving for the chance to increase STEM education with our young ladies. This program will hopefully spark the desire to pursue a career in a STEM-related field.”