Covestro

STEM Outreach for Corporate Responsibility

i3 STEM

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.

Adopt-A-School

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.

Teacher Feedback on Covestro’s Adopt-A-School Program

“An excellent program with a world-class instructor. To see a young, professional scientist interested in explaining and exploring the natural world with young boys and girls is a joy to watch and an invaluable service to our schools.”

Best Practices

Corporate Social Responsibility

School engagement is part of our corporate social responsibility program and a part of our larger i3 initiative (ignite, imagine, and innovate), which leverages our current and future workforce, the communities in which we operate, partners and collaborators to create sustainable and lasting impact.

Paid, Skills-Based Employee Volunteering

Our community work is driven by our passionate employees, who are given up to 16 volunteer hours of paid leave to give back to the community. Designing programs that are led by engaged Covestro employees has been key to program success and improves employee quality of life and engagement with the company and the community. Skills-based volunteerism satisfies employees’ desire for purpose, which has shown to boost employee engagement, productivity and improved talent attraction and retention metrics.

Equipment Funding

Several of our initiatives also provide supplies and equipment as part of the program. We have found this to be essential in ensuring that our programs have the support they need in terms of staff and physical resources to succeed.

About Covestro

Covestro is an international materials science company, specializing in advanced polymers and high-performance plastics, with North American headquarters in Pittsburgh. As part of their efforts to engage the local community, Covestro offers educational programming targeting middle and high school students. Programs are organized as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) approach, with a focus on employee volunteerism.

Students participate in the greenlight4girls STEM event at Carnegie Science Center. The program targeted middle school girls to get interested in science as part of the i3 initiative. Over 120 students participated with over 40 Covestro employees.