Comerica grant to help OU students mentor area high schoolers in STEM fields

The Pawley Lean Institute (PLI) at Oakland University has been award a $2,000 grant from the Comerica Charitable Foundation. The grant is specifically targeted to Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) students to support High School Student Workshops within the ISE Department. 

Dennis Wade, director of the PLI stated, “This grant will allow our ISE students to mentor high school students in the Oakland/Macomb area in the STEM (Science, Technology, Math, and Engineering) fields of study. In particular, the exposure to ISE will spark interest in the STEM field of study for both education and potential careers within engineering, and we thank Comerica for their support.”

“Supporting education is one of our priorities,” explained Janice Tessier, president of the Comerica Charitable Foundation. “The Comerica Charitable Foundation is proud to support Oakland University’s efforts to encourage area high school students to consider STEM-related majors in their higher education endeavors.”     

Oakland’s High School Student Workshops program promotes ISE and Lean Learning as it introduces ISE as a field of study to high school students from both a college degree and career perspective. The program consists of three visits from high school classes to the ISE department as a partnership program with the PLI at Oakland University. The program will engage over 100 high school students and runs during normal school hours. 

Components to the sessions held at OU include:

  • Hands on, tool orientation
  • Lean/Continuous Improvement exercises
  • Ergonomics using simulation tools
  • Product Life Cycle Management
  • Manufacturing Systems Simulation

According to Dr. Robert Van Til, ISE department chair and Pawley professor of lean studies, “We are excited to have the Pawley Lean Institute join us on our STEM outreach activities involving Lean. My ISE department colleagues and I have worked with a local high school on a pilot STEM outreach workshop for the past two years, and this grant from Comerica will allow the Pawley Lean Institute to join us to work together on expanding our STEM outreach activities to other K-12 schools.”