Grant for Austin Youth River Watch continues 3Mgives’ support of local organizations focused on STEM

In support of 3M’s global initiative to advance equitable science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), and educational outcomes for students, 3Mgives selects Austin Youth River Watch (AYRW) as the beneficiary of the 2019 3M Half Marathon. The $50,000 grant will allow the Austin-based nonprofit to continue offering a hands-on approach to environmental science, primarily to underserved high school students. 3Mgives continues their support of local organizations that educate youth and prepare them for a possible career in STEM. The 25th annual 3M Half Marathon will take place on Sunday, January 20, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

Austin Youth River Watch students testing water at Barton Creek.

Austin Youth River Watch students testing water at Barton Creek. Credit – Austin Youth River Watch

“Choosing Austin Youth River Watch as the beneficiary of the 3M Half Marathon is the perfect match for how we want to help here in Austin,” said Stacey Claessens, 3Mgives Manager of Austin Community Engagement. “It supports our initiative to increase student interest in STEM while also being a program that fosters a sustainable community.”

Making a difference

Austin Youth River Watch is a multi-year, after-school and summer program for high school students, combining peer mentoring with intensive environmental education. Their students collect, analyze, and publish water-quality data from Austin-area streams and rivers. They then report their data to local and statewide agencies. Students also work with community partners on environmental restoration projects to improve watershed health. This grant will support AYRW’s program in environmental education and youth development and their efforts to bring STEM to life. In addition to the grant, event-related involvement will take place at the expo and on race day.

“More than half of our graduates each year go on to pursue fields in STEM and the environment,” said Melinda Chow, Executive Director of Austin Youth River Watch. “With great community partners like 3M, we are all working together to improve outcomes for youth, diversify the STEM pipeline, and help make our world a better place to live.”

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country. It will celebrate its 25th year running in 2019. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing near the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 306’ net elevation drop. Participants can register on the website.