Microsoft Announces a More Than $6 Million Contribution to STEM Education


For Immediate Release
December 1, 2015
Jesse Gilliam, 206.218.7980,
Craig Kanaya, 206.718.8249,


REDMOND, Wash. – Washington STEM and Thrive Washington announced today a more than $6 million contribution from Microsoft to drive improvements in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education from cradle to career. The contribution was announced at the fourth annual Washington STEM Summit at Microsoft’s Redmond campus.

“When the Legislature stepped up to make new investments in early learning and K-12 education this past session, we assured them that the private sector would continue to be their partner in providing exciting opportunities for Washington students,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith. “This contribution is one example of the private sector following through on that commitment.”

Patrick D’Amelio, CEO of Washington STEM, which focuses on advancing STEM education, praised Microsoft for their commitment to STEM education and Washington state’s students. “This investment means students from rural areas will be able to take computer science classes and teachers in schools serving low-income communities will be able to get top-notch training,” he said. “Microsoft has clearly recognized the value of cradle-to-career STEM education.”

Today’s contribution builds on a great year of fundraising for STEM education. For example, $41 million in private funds were raised this year for Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS). The Legislature matches private money raised for WSOS. A growing partnership between Washington STEM, Thrive Washington and Washington State Opportunity Scholarship is making the case for why we need to start fostering an ease and understanding of STEM concepts as early as possible, so that more children are successful with STEM classes in school and drawn to STEM careers.

Combined with other private contributions, and money dedicated by the Washington State Legislature, today’s contribution brings the total to more than $177 million in new funding for statewide STEM education in 2015 alone.

“It’s only recently that we’ve come to understand how significant early math skills are as a predictor of overall future academic success,” said Sam Whiting, president and CEO of Thrive Washington, the state’s lead private partner in building a statewide early learning system. “Yet today only 53 percent of entering kindergartners have the math skills they need. It’s encouraging to see this level of support from private donors and elected leaders for our earliest learners.”