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Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc. Awards Grant to Support STEAM Education in Southern California

$150,000 award will fund FUSE Studios in 10 underserved elementary schools in Los Angeles and Orange County

June 15, 2021

IRVINE, CA – June 15, 2021 – The Mazda Foundation (USA) Inc., announced today a $150,000.00 grant to FUSE Studios, a high-quality and results-driven educational program developed through Northwestern University that aims to transform science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) learning in schools across America.

“Access to STEAM programming in elementary school helps level the playing field for students throughout their education and careers,” said Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda North American Operations and chairman of the Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc.
“We are thrilled to play a role in giving young people access to experiences that might inspire them to become the next generation of engineers, scientists, and designers.”

Students taking part in FUSE programs are impacted beyond the learning studio where their developing skills and abilities are transferred into their work and classroom environments. Program participants also experience an environment with abundant peer support, encouraging the development of necessary ‘non-cognitive’ skills, such as problem-solving, persistence, and working together.

“The FUSE team has always put the student experience at the center of our work,” said FUSE Founder and Principal Investigator, Professor Reed Stevens. “We are thrilled by Mazda Foundation’s generous support as we launch 10 new FUSE Studios in Southern California. We look forward to developing sustaining partnerships with each of our grant recipients, and we are excited that students will receive access to a diverse suite of challenges designed to ignite creativity, collaboration, and discovery through activities not found in a typical classroom setting.”

The award will support the Fall 2021 launch of FUSE Studios in 10 elementary schools across L.A. Unified School District and three school districts across Orange County. Additionally, the Mazda Foundation and volunteers from Mazda North American Operations are working with the FUSE Studios team to develop a new challenge for students to complete as part of the program.

The award to FUSE Studios is one of four grant awards that the Mazda Foundation announced as part of its 2021 funding cycle. The grants, totaling $450,000, aim to address food insecurity and equitable access to education. The other three grants were awarded to Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County (Irvine, CA), the Food Bank of North Alabama (Huntsville, AL), and AVID Center (funding a program in Madison County, AL).

About Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc.
As the corporate foundation of Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), the Mazda Foundation has donated more than $14 million to children’s organizations, educational scholarships, food banks, environmental programs, and disaster relief efforts since 1992. To learn more about the Mazda Foundation, please visit www.mazdafoundation.org.

About FUSE Studios
FUSE is a STEAM education program housed within Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy that facilitates student exploration and learning through hands-on, interest-driven challenges inspired by real-world STEM and design practices. In FUSE, students work in a studio-like environment, learn through making, and develop 21st century skills such as problem solving, persistence and communication. Learn more at www.fusestudio.net.

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Contact: Tamara Mlynarczyk, Mazda Foundation, 202-467-5092

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