NextGear gives $50K to fund STEM lab at Indianapolis elementary school
NextGear Capital showed it has a great interest in science, too, not just the automotive financial world.
The floorplan provider that focuses on independent dealerships, in collaboration with Cox Enterprises, recently transformed an Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) classroom into the district’s first fully-funded grade school STEM lab.
The company made a $50,000 donation to outfit a classroom at Ernie Pyle School 90 with technology and more for students to explore the field of robotics through hands-on learning.
“I’m simply stunned by all the tools that are now available for our students to build and explore robotics in different ways,” IPS teacher Jenina Sorenson said in a news release from the school district.
“I like the STEM lab because we get to build robots, and we can sit with our friends and work on projects together,” added one of the students.
The transformation of Sorenson’s fifth and sixth grade classroom took place in July.
NextGear Capital employees set up the donated technology and other equipment including new iPads, a 3D printer, a VEX GO construction system, Sphero programmable robots and other educational activities that help children learn STEM concepts through play-based learning.
The crew from NextGear also assembled furniture and helped complete the space such as such hanging a Lego wall and other classroom decorations.
Representatives from NextGear and the TechPoint Foundation for Youth then visited the school on Aug. 24 to see the new STEM lab in action.
“When people are empowered with a purpose, they create a ripple effect that positively impacts the lives of everyone around them,” NextGear Capital president Scott Maybee said in the news release.
“The TechPoint Foundation for Youth was the perfect partner to help us achieve this purpose by ensuring that underserved students in our community have access to STEM education,” Maybee continued.
The classroom creation was inspired by Cox Enterprises’ “34 by 34” social impact initiative that launched last year. Its goal is to empower 34 million people to live more prosperous lives by 2034 by taking meaningful action in communities where the company’s employees live and work.
“The financial and volunteer support of NextGear Capital and Cox Enterprises has made a significant impact on the lives of approximately 300 underserved students at Ernie Pyle Elementary School,” said George Giltner, president and CEO of TechPoint Foundation for Youth.
“This partnership paves the way for accessible STEM education, inspiring young students to unleash their imagination, explore, learn and become future problem solvers who will shape a brighter tomorrow,” Giltner went on to say.