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BP commitment to math and science education in Chicagoland tops $6.5 million

Release date:
18 September 2013
BP Foundation and BP America Invest $6 Million in Museum of Science and Industry Exhibit; BP Foundation Supporting Chicagoland Educators through $500,000 in STEM Grants


CHICAGO - BP Foundation and BP America announced today that their commitment to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the Chicagoland area has reached more than $6.5 million.


As the lead sponsor of the Museum of Science and Industry’s (MSI) Future Energy Chicago exhibit, BP provided $6 million in funding ($5 million from BP Foundation and $1 million from BP America) for the new, permanent energy exhibit designed to engage youth in the topic of energy and inspire and empower them to envision their own role in our energy future and related careers. MSI unveiled the new exhibit today.


“BP has a long history of supporting educational programs in Chicago,” said BP America Chairman and President John Mingé. “This $6 million commitment to the Museum of Science and Industry and the half a million dollars in STEM grants for educators is the latest step in our ongoing support of science, technology, engineering and math initiatives in the City.”


The heart of MSI’s Future Energy Chicago is a state--of-the-art, multi-player simulation game that  uses real-world data to enable students and other guests to learn how new energy technologies can revolutionize Chicago’s infrastructure. Guests compete on teams and rotate between five unique simulation stations to design the future car, house, neighborhood, transportation system and power generation system.  The 7,200 -square-foot exhibit also features an interactive environment where museum-goers experience the science behind mechanical energy, electricity and energy efficiency and watch a dynamic film on energy in our natural world.


BP Foundation also has awarded $400,000 to a University of Chicago program that helps promising Chicago high school students prepare for careers in science, technology, engineering and math. The University’s Collegiate Scholars Program's Math and Science Initiative will enable 106 students from Chicago public high schools to complete math and science programs led by University of Chicago educators.


"This grant reflects our confidence in the program's effectiveness in helping to make additional educational opportunities possible for these promising students," said Ben Cannon, BP Foundation executive director.


The Collegiate Scholars Program helps students augment their high school coursework through intensive, specialized course work and support starting after the ninth grade, both in summer programs and during the school year until graduation. The program gives the students — most of whom are minorities, and often from families of limited financial means — the support and tools they need to be competitive in college.


The 10-year-old program has 376 alumni who have attended 130 colleges in 30 states, with a 91% graduation rate within five years. Some graduates have gone on to some of the country’s most selective medical and law schools.


BP Foundation has also provided a $100,000 grant to the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy’s (IMSA) Energy Center, which fosters student innovation in sustainable energy sources through inquiry-based, hands-on activities.


The grant will be used to equip IMSA’s Energy Center with the latest technology and software and expand its programs that cultivate Illinois student research, construction, and production of alternative energy sources and policy.


Launched in 2009, IMSA’s Energy Center draws on students’ concern for their environment and desire to advance the human condition, fostering their pursuit of compelling questions to identify and solve real-world problems. The internationally recognized Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy develops creative, ethical leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. As a teaching and learning laboratory created by the State of Illinois over 25 years ago, IMSA enrolls academically talented Illinois students (grades 10-12) in its advanced, residential college preparatory program, and it serves thousands of educators and students in Illinois and beyond through innovative instructional programs that foster imagination and inquiry.


“As the largest energy investor in the US over the past several years, BP expects to need more science and engineering graduates in the coming years,” Mingé added. “We hope these innovative programs will inspire students to pursue careers in the energy industry.”


Further information:




Scott Dean, BP America Press Office, (630) 420-4990, uspress@bp.com

Notes to Editors


  • BP Foundation is a separate legal entity from BP and accounts independently for its operations, assets, liabilities and expenses. Since 2006, the BP Foundation has invested more than $200 million in US initiatives.
  • Since 2006, BP Foundation and BP America have given more than $30 million in charitable contributions to Chicagoland civic and community organizations including MSI, Chicago Children’s Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • BP employs more than 3,500 people in the greater Chicagoland area engaged in a wide range of business activities ranging from refining research and development to oil products trading, supply and marketing. The company’s largest US refinery is also located in nearby Whiting, Indiana.

About BP


Over the past five years, BP has invested more than $55 billion in the US – more than any other energy company. BP is the nation’s second-largest producer of oil and gas and provides enough energy annually to light nearly the entire country for a year. Directly employing more than 20,000 people in all 50 states, BP supports more than 260,000 jobs in total through all of its business activities. For more information, view our BP in the US animated video: