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Ford Hands Out $50,000 in Grants for STEM High School Community Challenge

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Ford STEM High School Community Challenge

Ford Next Generation Learning and the Ford STEAM program have awarded $50,000 in grants to high school students who have demonstrated the ability to make their communities better places through science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

The Ford STEM High School Community Challenge concluded last month with six high schools throughout the country winning a total of $50,000 in grants to progress their respective initiatives. The top prize, as determined by a panel of Ford reviewers, earned $20,000; second place took home $10,000; and four third-place finishers were awarded $5,000 apiece.

“Innovation and sustainability are two essential elements that will help strengthen communities and improve the quality of life for the people who call them home,” said Mike Schmidt, director, Education and Global Community Development, Ford Motor Company Fund. “Through creative initiatives like the Ford STEM High School Community Challenge, we hope to encourage innovative approaches to learning that spark student interest and imagination.”

The top prize went to Whites Creek High School in Nashville, whose team looks to convert a Ford F-150 and tractor to run on hydrogen fuel and will develop a solar farm to help accommodate it. Second place went to Guilford High School in Rockford, Illinois, where students aim to develop solar-powered charging stations throughout the city.

Third-place runners-up include Bartow High School in Florida, which will host a hackathon for students aged 13-18; Harlingen High School in Texas, whose team of Skeeterbots will use drones to thin the community’s high mosquito population; Newton College and Career Academy in Covington, Georgia, where students will convert a school bus into a mobile learning lab; and Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Memorial ECHS in Texas, where students will help build a Community IT Engagement Center.