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GSK STEM Equity Grants

To further our commitment to increase the number of diverse Philadelphia students entering STEM careers by 2030, GSK will support at least $1 million in grant funds each year to nonprofit organizations working to address inequity in STEM education and career pathways.

In 2021, we are proud to support the following programs with GSK STEM Equity Grants:


Full STEAM Ahead Program

Young students wearing goggles working on an experiment
Photo credit: EducationWorks

The Full STEAM Ahead out-of-school time curriculum emphasizes inquiry-based programming in elementary school, career exposure and skill building in middle school, along with workforce development and career pathways in high school focused on Black and Latinx youth in Philadelphia’s historically disenfranchised communities. This project-based learning model helps youth envision and advance their pathways towards professional STEAM careers. Programming emphasizes a ‘Citizen Scientist’ theme focused on environmental science and urban agriculture.

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Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA)

Youth Pathway to Green Renovation and Retrofit Program

Person in white hardhat working on a heater
Photo credit: Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA)

Green Renovation and Retrofit training will be provided for 10 Black and Latinx out-of-school young men and women ages 18-24. ECA developed methods and materials to assist those who need a stronger academic background in reading, math or science. Participants learn what they need for entry-level jobs in deconstruction and demolition, green residential construction and weatherization installs. Those who successfully complete the program receive national credentials and qualify for the Pre-Apprenticeship program under ECA’s Federally Registered Apprenticeship Program for Retrofit Installer Technician.

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Nueva Esperanza

STEM Hope Pathways Program

Young scientist
Photo credit: Nueva Esperanza

Esperanza and Esperanza College provide Latinx and minority 11th and 12th grade youth in Philadelphia with access to enriching STEM experiences centered around research so they can envision themselves working in STEM fields. The summer camp teaches students basic scientific research skills, explains the role of a scientist and builds the confidence needed for students to succeed in STEM. In addition, students will take steps towards STEM careers by enrolling in college-level courses in the health sciences during high school. This program creates a pipeline of youth who are activated, equipped and engaged to enter STEM fields.

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Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, Inc. (OICA)

Career & Academic Development Institute’s Cadi2Code Program

Students working at computers in class
Photo credit: OICA

The Cadi2Code program delivers the preparation, support, representation and incentives needed to support more young women of color interested in STEM and coding. OICA believes STEM training, if utilized correctly, can bypass many inherent biases present in other career fields and provide participants with a true, sustainable living wage. Coding was chosen because it is a field with ever increasing job opportunities, can be learned without a college education and requires skills that many young adults are able to grasp and learn.

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Philadelphia Education Fund

Explore STEM Philly Program

Explore STEM Philly (ESP) is a career exploration program for 1,200 9th and 10th grade students in five Philadelphia high schools. ESP cultivates a deeper understanding of the pathways to becoming future STEM professionals and is focused on Black and Latinx students. The program delivers classroom presentations by diverse STEM professionals, hosts a STEM exploration conference including career fair, arranges virtual STEM worksite visits and provides professional development for classroom teachers.

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The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

Women in Natural Sciences (WINS) – Module III Program

Two students using microscopes
Photo credit: The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia

WINS focuses on girls of color from financially challenged households headed by single parents, grandparents, or non-parent guardians. By providing science-based academic and social-emotional instruction, support and mentorship to high school girls in Philadelphia, this program empowers them to pursue STEM education, activities and careers. The WINS program will be expanded to support the success of alumnae as they navigate their first two years of college. The goal is to improve their educational experience, increase their resilience in a new environment and better equip them to pursue STEM careers upon graduation.

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Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania

Project BioEYES

Young student filling out a worksheet
Photo credit: Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania

Through Project BioEYES, more than 5,000 Philadelphia students every year discover the thrill of scientific discovery through hands-on life science experiments right in their classrooms. The program focuses on increasing minority representation and shaping future scientists and doctors by educating these young citizens to think critically and scientifically. Teachers and university outreach coordinators collaborate on a week-long science project that brings live zebrafish into the classroom offering exemplary science curriculum in cell biology, genetics and the scientific method.

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University City Science Center

FirstHand Program

Three students collaborating in science class
Photo credit: University City Science Center

FirstHand connects middle and high school students of color from communities surrounding the Science Center’s West Philadelphia neighborhood to the resources of the Science Center ecosystem. The program supplements traditional classroom instruction with hands-on, mentored outside-of-school-time experiences. STEM professionals guide students through lab experiments, peer collaborations and pitching ideas to mock investors. FirstHand is unique due to its direct partnerships with under-resourced Philadelphia schools, its focus on industry-informed curricula aligned with the needs of STEM companies, and creative hands-on learning in a high-tech lab space. These experiences are integral to the impact of the program and to introducing students to STEM careers as viable and meaningful careers.

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YMIC Foundation, Inc. (YMWIC)

Pre-College/Pre-Apprenticeship Program

Group of students in front of a ram statue
Photo credit: YMWIC

Young Men and Women in Charge leverages academic tutoring, mentoring and financial assistance programs to empower and prepare economically disadvantaged and historically under-represented youth to excel and become leaders in STEM fields. Students are provided with the tools and skills they need to become successful. YMWIC has expanded their operations to serve students in two North Philadelphia communities. YMWIC’s programming meets the participants where they are and provides a wraparound approach to ensure all scholars are successful. The potential of college, scholarships and viable employment reinforce a sense of family partnership and investment in success for the scholar and their families.

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