Underwater Robotics

Education   Empowerment   Economic Development

Building underwater robots exposes students to an enjoyable and engaging learning experience. MATE ROV competitions provide a unique structure and experience for students to experience real world problem based learning in a team environment. To prepare for the competition, students assume a specific role on the team – CEO, CFO, engineering lead, marketing lead, etc. Throughout the process, students develop skills in project management, technical writing, communication, teamwork, entrepreneurship and leadership.

In addition, the competition requires students to apply skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills and can spark interest in practical application of these competencies.

A sophomore student notes, “I’ve never been good at math but after getting into MATE, I’m getting solid straight A’s in math. It’s now my favorite subject.” While engaging in MATE, this same student has decided to pursue a career in project management and problem solving and plans to become a naval engineer.

To date, the MATE Center and its regional partners have coordinated 16 international and 240 regional ROV competitions that have involved nearly 20,000 students in grades 4-16. The investment to start a MATE team is nominal and the return can be extraordinary.

Visit www.marinetech.org to learn more about how to get started with MATE and underwater robotics.


Education   Empowerment

The establishment of a STREAMWORKS, a strong network of coaches and a new STEM gym with practice field are making an extraordinary impact for students at Eastman’s global headquarters in East Tennessee. Since the formation of STREAMWORKS, an educational partnership powered by the Eastman Foundation, students involved in STEAM activities – specifically robotics – are noting a substantial change. For the first time, Dobyns-Bennett’s FIRST Robotics team earned a spot at the international competition and one of the local middle school teams advanced to the state tournament. STREAMWORKS supports local educational efforts in a number of ways and demonstrates that having the right resources and visionary leadership can spark change that empowers great success.

Supplies for Soldiers


Thanks to our Eastman Foundation team members and our site community partners and neighbors, we collected a record-setting 94,832 items for the 2019 Supplies for Soldiers campaign! In December, more than 1,200 care packages made their way around the globe to 105 U.S. deployed units. Each deployed unit received multiple boxes of toiletries, entertainment items such as books and playing cards, non-perishable food/drink mixes, and practical items, including batteries, note pads and much more. Each unit also received notes and letters from area students sharing their gratitude.

Engineers Without Borders


A desire to meet basic human needs inspired several Eastman engineers to form a chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA. Members strive to apply engineering solutions to resolve infrastructural and humanitarian problems wherever they exist. The chapter is currently helping residents in Samne, Peru, to establish a more viable water supply. Eastman supports the chapter’s work in a number of ways to facilitate sustainable, positive change in the world. Learn More

Conserving Ecology


Eastman advances large-scale, ecological work through its partnership with The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s leading environmental organizations. We support the conservancy’s global efforts, which include land protection to preserve the habitats of giant pandas in China. We also support the conservancy’s research in nature preserves located in Shady Valley, Tennessee — a rare, high-elevation remnant of the last Ice Age and one of the most ecologically important regions in the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Disaster Relief

Economic Development

When disaster strikes, Eastman often steps in. The Eastman Foundation, coupled with employee contributions, has regularly delivered aid to natural disaster victims through the American Red Cross, and also launches special matching gift campaigns when disasters affect employees and their families. Eastman products have also been useful in aiding recovery, such as application of the Rainstick water filtration system for emergency hydration and plasticizers (in piping) for resolving issues at a nuclear power plant.

Advancing Girls’ Opportunities in Appalachia for Learning and Success (A+GOALS)

Education   Empowerment   Economic Development

Literacy, Leadership and STEAM education are the focus of Eastman Foundation’s program, A+GOALS. Through creativity and discovery, the program creates a unique set of opportunities for young girls in rural southern Appalachia to learn, express herself and value herself.

A+GOALS is a two-week summer program, currently hosted at Emmett Elementary, in partnership with Sullivan County Schools. The Foundation understands the importance of providing educational experiences in the four years between childhood and adolescence to increase educational aspirations, self-confidence and world views. We make it possible for the families with bus transportation, two healthy meals, enrichment opportunities, and fun activities offered each day. Learn More