November 1, 2016 – Santa Barbara, Calif. – 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 in October at Presqu’ile Winery in Orcutt.

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

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, and consist of 16 mini grants of approximately $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 mini 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 Corporation, Crimson Pipeline LP, E&B Natural Resources, The 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) 4th Grade STEM Education

Boys&Girls Clubs of Santa Clara Valley After School STEM Academy

Girls Inc. of Carpentaria 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 (S.Barbara) Play Structure Design and Construction

Santa Barbara County Office of Educ. 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