The Celanese Foundation, part of Celanese Corporation (NYSE: CE), (NYSE: CE), a global specialty materials and chemical company, recently granted $50,000 to fund the SPE Foundation’s work in Detroit and Dallas. This grant allows the two groups to expand on the years of support the Celanese team in Auburn Hills, MI has already been providing. It will be used to sponsor SPE After-School STEM Clubs, Ecotek Lab collaboration, and the PlastiVan® programming which upholds the Foundation’s three-pronged approach to enrich and develop future workforce for the plastics industry – scholarships and grants for emerging plastics professionals, equitable STEM opportunities, and the science and sustainability of plastics.
“These donations from Celanese and the Celanese Foundation support our work in so many ways. Our work in Detroit and Dallas is engaging hundreds of students with positive plastics education and career pathway discovery. Many of the students we are serving are members of the Ecotek Science at Work! Lab, a program for Detroit students who are engaged in science-based research or are part of our SPE After-School STEM Clubs,” said Eve Vitale, SPE Foundation’s Chief Executive.
In 2022, the Celanese team at Auburn Hills donated $30,000 to support the students in the program, knowing they would receive multiple touches of STEM education related to the plastics industry.
“Our partnership with Celanese and SPE has created measurable outcomes for students in Detroit. Learning how chemistry affects products they use every day has created interest in the students for careers and opportunities in the plastics industry,” said Keith Young, Ecotek’s CEO.
Led by Jeff Helms, Global Automotive Manager at Celanese Engineered Materials, employees visited Detroit Edison high school and took the students through the design process from ideation to actual car part. To create further understanding, the students visited the Celanese facility and got short lessons in design and manufacturing as well as a demonstration of injection molding.
“It was a great experience for us and I’m grateful for the opportunity. We’re looking forward to continuing our engagement and bringing industry and career experiences to the kids downtown,” said Helms.
In March 2023, Dallas employees spent the day with PlastiVan educators as they brought positive plastics education through the PlastiVan® to all 6th graders in two McKinney, TX middle schools. The program teaches students about careers available in the plastics industry through science, engineering, and business while engaging them with hands-on experiments and demonstrations. Topics include crosslinking polymers to create non-Newtonian fluids (making slime), the difference between thermoplastics and thermosets and how that affects recyclability, and how to become responsible consumers of plastics.
“Programs that allow Celanese team members a chance to engage with and encourage students in their local communities inspired the support,” said Vitale. “This includes our partnership with the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, where we created a Wonders of Polymer Science patch and are developing a Sustainable Packaging patch which will be launched Earth Day 2024.”
After a full day at Scott Johnson Middle School, Celanese Foundation President Alex Johnson, said, “Thank you so much for allowing us to be a part of such a fun and educational event! We are thankful to support such an important program that is crucial to familiarize kids with chemistry, generate interest in the plastics industry and address an important area that has fallen off in recent years in STEM activities.”
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About the SPE Foundation
Supporting the development of plastics professionals by funding quality educational programs, grants, and scholarships emphasizing science, engineering, sustainability, and manufacturing while working to create inclusive opportunities for students around the world, visit www.SPEFoundation.org.
Celanese Corporation is a global chemical leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Our businesses use the full breadth of Celanese's global chemistry, technology and commercial expertise to create value for our customers, employees, shareholders and the corporation. As we partner with our customers to solve their most critical business needs, we strive to make a positive impact on our communities and the world through the Celanese Foundation. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 13,000 employees worldwide and had 2022 net sales of $9.7 billion. For more information about Celanese Corporation and its product offerings, visit www.celanese.com.