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ScienceWorks lands $5,000 donation for STEM programs

Mail Tribune/file photo A ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum visitor plays with an electricity exhibit.

ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum in Ashland is one of six youth education nonprofits across the nation to get a surprise $5,000 donation from UScellular.

The wireless provider announced the donations this month to organizations that help kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math, often referred to as STEM.

“As a technology company, we want to do our part to advance opportunities for youth in STEM education fields to help solidify a foundation for future leaders,” said Sarah Pearson, area vice president and general manager for the Northwest region at UScellular. “We are excited to support ScienceWorks so they can continue their great work and encourage kids to explore their interests.”

Since opening in 2002, ScienceWorks has welcomed nearly one million visitors and 100,000 K-12 students from throughout Southern Oregon and Northern California. The fun, interactive museum has 2,000 member households across the region.

“ScienceWorks seeks to be a launchpad for the next generation of creative thinkers and problem solvers, and this generous donation from UScellular will support quality informal STEM education for school audiences and public visitors," said Erin Endress, executive director of the museum. "ScienceWorks is more than a museum. We give tools to build a foundation for lifelong learning.”

Other organizations that got $5,000 donations to support STEM learning are in Oklahoma, Iowa, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Maine.

UScellular is focused on addressing gaps in STEM education and is committed to connecting more than 200,000 of tomorrow’s innovators each year with the resources they need today to help shape future opportunities, the company said.

Since 2009, UScellular has donated nearly $21.4 million plus technology items to nonprofit organizations across the country. In addition, through its After School Access Project, UScellular has pledged up to $13 million in hotspots and service to help up to 50,000 youth connect to reliable internet in its markets, the company said.

This month, UScellular in Medford was one of 13 Rogue Valley companies to make Oregon Business magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon” list for 2022. The company was formerly known as U.S. Cellular.