Ripken Foundation and The Kahlert Foundation Team Up to Install Elementary & Middle School STEM Centers in County-Wide Initiative in Carroll County, Maryland

July 17, 2023

Over the last six years, thanks to many great partners, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has invested over $11,000,000 to create 319 elementary and middle school STEM Centers in 20 states, impacting over 100,000 kids. Thanks to a major gift from The Kahlert Foundation, we will install 31 STEM Centers in every elementary & middle school throughout Carroll County, Maryland.   

The Cradlerock Elementary STEM Center sponsored by The Kahlert Foundation in 2022 was the first of its kind in Howard County, MaCal & Kahlertryland and has had a lasting impact on the surrounding community. “The STEM Center is a source of pride for students and the community,” said Ellen Myers, Executive Director at The Kahlert Foundation. It will provide students another opportunity to build their skills, and it’s really a great space for kids to learn to work together, learn to problem-solve and persist to ultimately have a successful outcome.

Founded in 1991 by Bill Kahlert, his son and current president, Greg Kahlert, says that STEM learning is a priority for The Kahlert Foundation, as these underserved areas are “in need of good people making a difference for the betterment of our country.” He continued, “Education is one of our largest areas of giving, so we were interested in partnering with organizations like the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to maximize our giving and impact.” He also highlighted the importance of STEM learning and the pipeline that leads to great career opportunities for students.

Thanks to the funders like The Kahlert Foundation, the Ripken Foundation has introduced dedicated STEM learning in schools that don’t currently have STEM education programs. Each turnkey STEM Center comes equipped with technology and furniture packages; educational, age-appropriate STEM products with activities; Ripken Foundation elementary/middle school curricula; educator training to implement STEM programs; ongoing program and technical support; and an opportunity to participate in the Ripken Foundation National STEM Challenge.

“I remember going to a ribbon cutting ceremony for one of our first STEM Centers in partnership with the Ripken Foundation,” Myers shared. “It was so awesome to see the teachers and students so engaged in STEM learning. I think the way the Ripken Foundation packages and implements the STEM Centers makes it simple and easy for the kids to use. I was impressed by how the kids were so excited and girls in stemcurious about all the new educational tools.”

In 2023, the Ripken Foundation hosted a ribbon cutting at Elmer A. Wolfe Elementary School to celebrate the opening of one of the first new Kahlert Foundation sponsored STEM Centers in Carroll County. The ceremony included speeches from school officials, community leaders, and representatives of the Kahlert and Ripken Foundations. Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Cynthia McCabe was present at the event and said, “These resources will allow teachers to provide students with enhanced and unique hands-on learning opportunities, as well as support STEM clubs and extracurricular activities. CCPS is very fortunate to be able to partner with these two great foundations to bring these supplemental instructional resources to our students.”

Ripken Foundation President and CEO, Steve Salem, expressed his gratitude for The Kahlert Foundation’s continued support. “It’s such a wonderful thing what The Kahlert Foundation is doing for us and for the kids and for the community. The impact, honestly, is immeasurable. Kids will have opportunities in their future that they couldn’t imagine prior to getting into STEM.”

Kahlert and Myers also expressed their excitement for this partnership and look to the future. “In the future, I see our two organizations working together to help even more kids in the Baltimore area,” said Kahlert. Myers echoed this sentiment, stating “I am extremely honored to be a part of this great team, and it has been a privilege to be a part of this partnership in STEM education for children in Carroll and Howard counties. We hope it continues to grow for many years to come.”