By CJ Drake, Georgia-Pacific
Georgia-Pacific is making a significant effort this year to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning on the Oregon Coast, especially in Lincoln County.
Representatives from the GP containerboard mill in Toledo recently presented the Oregon Coast STEM Hub (OCSH) with a $25,000 donation.
“We support STEM because it encourages students to think critically, increases science literacy, and empowers the next generation of innovators,” said Loria Holden, health and safety leader at the GP containerboard mill in Toledo. “STEM also encourages students to pursue studies that may eventually lead to a career in the wood products and paper industry, of which GP is a global leader.” Holden serves as a STEM mentor in Lincoln County public schools and received her undergraduate degree in environmental engineering.
“We support STEM because it encourages students to think critically, increases science literacy, and empowers the next generation of innovators.”
OCSH is part of a statewide network of such organizations established to promote STEM and Career and Technical Education (CTE). Since its inception in 2014, OCSH has provided more than 22,000 hours of student STEM and CTE experiences, 9,020 direct hours of educator STEM professional development, and nurtured partnerships with 64 separate entities located up and down the Oregon Coast, from Brookings to Astoria.
“We’re delighted to have Georgia-Pacific as one of our business partners to help grow STEM and CTE skills among students and those aspiring to join the workforce,” said Dr. Lisa Blank, OCSH executive director. “Most careers and real-world challenges are multi-disciplinary. STEM and CTE introduce students to career pathways and provide core academic, employability and technical skills. GP’s support offers us additional opportunities to expand our reach.”
As an institutional partner of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub, Georgia-Pacific joins more than 60 other businesses, school districts, non-profit organizations, and government agencies partners, all of which are committed to fostering STEM futures on the Oregon coast. A representative from GP has held a seat on the OCSH Leadership Council since 2016, and four GP employees are currently serving as “Science Mentors” in Newport elementary school classrooms.