Grant to expand high-demand, Eco-STEM Place-Based Learning across southeast Michigan. 

SEMIS Coalition plans to host engaging and educational events with the new funding. (Photo by Leisa Thompson)

YPSILANTI — The Southeast Michigan Stewardship (SEMIS) Coalition at Eastern Michigan University has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the Bosch Community Fund. The funding will help support the Coalition’s mission to broaden the reach of Eco-STEM place-based learning, engaging more students and educators in the region with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to improve local environmental conditions and practices.

The grant, known as the Eco-STEM Action in Place-Based Learning through Coalition Building and Partnerships, will allow SEMIS to enhance its offerings in communities including Plymouth Canton, Belleville, and Dearborn. The initiative aims to strengthen teacher and school partnerships while providing students invaluable exposure to STEM professionals to address current environmental challenges.

“The funding provided by the Eco-STEM Action in Place-Based Learning through Coalition Building and Partnerships grant through the Bosch Community Fund will strengthen a STEM career pipeline, especially for underrepresented youth and teachers, by providing early exposure to and engagement with STEM fields and careers through Eco-STEM education,” said  Anna Balzer, director of Southeast Michigan Stewardship Coalition.

For more than 15 years, the Coalition has demonstrated the effectiveness of Eco-STEM learning through coalition building between teachers, students, and community partners. Participation in the SEMIS Coalition has many benefits, including continuous support for educators and opportunities for students to collaborate with peers on civic science projects in their schools and communities.

With the new funding, SEMIS plans to host various engaging and educational events. These include a one-day introduction to place-based education course and youth spaces where students can share their Eco-STEM projects with peers and a broader audience. Additionally, the coalition will host networking events to introduce a new mini-grant process for partnerships between classrooms and community partners, enhancing resource accessibility for educators and students. These activities will occur over the 2024-2025 school year.  

“The SEMIS Coalition is thrilled to receive this generous support from the Bosch Community Fund, which is critical in helping scale access to the Coalition’s network and educational resources for more teachers and students, especially those who face financial or other barriers to participation,” said Balzer.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 13,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University’s website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

About The SEMIS Coalition

The SEMIS Coalition is an alliance of educators, community organizations, and environmental professionals dedicated to fostering environmental literacy and stewardship in Southeast Michigan. The coalition was formed in 2008 and is a regional hub of the Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative. Its local home is Engage@EMU and EMU’s College of Education. With the help of these entities, SEMIS has been actively engaged in providing transformative education experiences to students through an Ecojustice Education framework, cultivating their understanding of and appreciation for the natural world, and empowering youth as civic leaders. To learn more about the SEMIS Coalition, visit