Energy Partners Fund Awards $80,000 to STEM Programs

Posted in: Donation, Noozhawk

The Energy Partners Fund, a committee advised fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation, awarded $80,000 to educational programs and organizations focusing on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The grants were presented recently at Presqu’ile Winery in Orcutt.

The Energy Partners are a diverse mix of oil and gas companies, local businesses and community organizations who join together to bring STEM alive to local students, teachers and nonprofits.

Grants from the fund support a variety of programs on the Central Coast, all with the goal to foster learning and enthusiasm for STEM. The grants include donations to schools, museums and educational organizations.

They consist of 16 mini-grants of about $1,500 each; a $6,500 award to Partners in Education’s Countywide Volunteer Program; and a $50,000 donation to the Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation (MOXI) to underwrite 3D printers in the museum’s Innovation Design Lab.

The mini-grants range from supporting several area robotics programs to hands-on marine science instruction to designing and constructing a play structure.  Other mini-grants focus on teacher preparation, STEM curriculum development, and enhancing school volunteer resources.

One such grant was awarded to the Discover Robotics After School program to be offered at the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum.

“By exploring the building blocks of robotics and getting children excited by the science of robotics, we hope to provide a stepping stone to get them engaged in other STEM disciplines,” said Chris Slaughter, the museum’s executive director.

The Energy Partners include ExxonMobil, Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas, Aera Energy, SPE International, Chevron, California Resources Corp., Crimson Pipeline LP, E&B Natural Resources, Murphy Foundation, Phillips 66, Pacific Western Bank, Venoco, Presqu’ile Winery, Santa Barbara Foundation, PCEC, and NALCO Champion.

The Mini Grants:

School or Organization Project
AAUW – Santa Maria Tech Trek Science and Math Camp
Brandon Elementary School, Goleta Fourth Grade STEM Education
Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley After School STEM Academy
Girls Inc. of Carpinteria The Eureka Program
Cuyama Valley High School Energy & Technology Curriculum Development
El Camino Elementary School, Goleta MakerSpace Fridays
Nipomo High School NHS Titan Robotics
Olive Grove Charter School Underwater Robotics Program
Orcutt Academy High School Spartatroniks Robotics Team
Partners in Education Countywide Volunteer Program
Paulding Middle School (Lucia Mar USD) “Hot” House
Providence Christian School, Santa Barbara Play Structure Design and Construction
Santa Barbara County Education Office SBCEO Teachers Network
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum Hands on Marine Science Program
Riviera Robotics Riviera Robotics Team 5818
Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum Discover Robotics After School Program

— Jordan Killebrew for Energy Partners. This press release was originally posted on

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