When Covestro separated from Bayer in 2015 to become an independent company, it launched its own U.S. corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, called i3 (ignite, imagine, and innovate). i3 STEM is part of that initiative, carrying on the company’s commitment to STEM education as a new evolution of its predecessor program, “Making Science Make Sense.” It consists of five pillars, the first of which is Science in the Classroom. This program can be delivered to individual classes or grade-wide assemblies of students. It’s free for teachers with resources provided by Covestro and has seen 60 local area school partnerships with over 140 Covestro staff engaged. Employees with expertise in STEM fields help teach lessons, which include hands-on science experiments, and work with teachers to develop curriculum and lab content. Students and teachers can choose from 40 different science experiments, which can be linked to existing curriculum and align with both PA State Education standards and Next Generation Science standards.
i3 STEM Events
Pillars of the i3 STEM program include school career days, local STEM-focused events such as the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineer Fair (PRSEF), and company site visits. Covestro employee volunteers support science fair judging, participate in shadow experiences, and take students on lab and machine area tours to talk about workforce opportunities and careers.
In partnership with the United Way Adopt-A-School program, the program connected Covestro to schools in the Sto-Rox and Northgate school districts by providing volunteer engagement and resource sharing. Through the program, Covestro employees provide partner schools with a range of financial, material/equipment, and in-kind resources for students, teachers, and parents. This ranges from classroom equipment donations to field trip opportunities to visit the company or explore science in the region, career discussions and lesson planning support. Employee volunteers also engage with parents to assist with workplace skills, resume writing, interviewing and job search support.