SME Public Relations
The SME Education Foundations support of Engineers Week 2009 included Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Future City™ Competition; judging of the Best Manufacturing Zone Special Award, and an educational DVD, Innovate: Engineering Change.
DEARBORN, Mich., March 4, 2009 — The SME Education Foundation joined a formal coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies during Engineers Week 2009 (February 15-21) in Washington, D.C., in a series of competitions designed to inspire young people to consider engineering careers. The SME Education Foundation celebrated Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day — commemorated worldwide on February 19, by co-distributing an educational DVD and discussion guide, with a renewable energy theme, Innovate: Engineering Change, to teachers at over 2,000 schools across the United States offering Project Lead the Way® curriculum. The SME Education Foundation also participated in the Future City™ Competition Finals during the week, and presented the Special Award for Best Manufacturing Zone. Our future will be dependent on the renewable energy industry. These industries will be driven by innovation that is fueled by young minds who are thinkers and problem solvers, said Bart Aslin, director of the SME Education Foundation. Our involvement with Engineering Week is strategically focused on our being able to deliver programs that let young people — especially girls — know how exciting their future career can be. The theme for this years Future City™ competition was water and its being a source of energy. More than 30,000 students from 1,100 middle schools across the country participated in the competition using SimCity 4 Deluxe software for the design of systems to conserve and reuse our most precious resource. Middle-school students competed by working in teams with teachers and volunteer engineer-mentors to create cities of tomorrow, through software design, modeling, research and writing, and oral presentations. The program Innovate: Engineering Change, hosted by Emmy Award-winning executive producer, Helene Lerner, is a production of Creative Expansions, Inc. It follows a group of women and men as they work together on a pilot project to install water turbines in New York Citys East River. If successful, the project will generate an alternative source of Green energy that may be produced commercially. The special is being presented by KCTS-Seattle Public Television and distributed by American Public Television (APT). It will start airing on public television in April 2009. Check your local listings for date and time. A shortened DVD version containing highlights from Innovate: Engineering Change and a discussion guide was co-sponsored by the SME Education Foundation. Other industry sponsors included: National Instruments, Rockwell Automation, Rockwell Collins, State Farm and Xerox. The purpose of this educational initiative is to create broader awareness of career opportunities for young people in manufacturing, engineering, science and technology.
About Gateway Academy:The concept of the Gateway Academy was created in a partnership between the SME Education Foundation and Project Lead the Way®, a not-for-profit organization that promotes engineering courses for middle and high school students. In 2008, the SME Education Foundation held 170 Gateway Academies and reached over 3,000 students in 25 states. Their goal is to increase to 220 Gateway Academies by 2010. The Gateway Academy offers a weeklong, co-ed program allowing campers to work together in a fun and exciting environment. Students brainstorm ideas, solve problems and learn the basics of engineering concepts involving alternative energy, eco-design, robotics, manufacturing and aerodynamics, in a hands-on, project-based environment. The curriculum prepares middle and high school students for engineering coursework offered by Project Lead The Way®. In partnership with Project Lead The Way®, National Academy Foundation and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc., the SME Education Foundation will provide funding to Academy of Engineering sites in the summer of 2009.
About the SME Education Foundation:The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation was created by SME in 1979 as a means of transforming manufacturing education in North American colleges and universities. As one of the nations leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing manufacturing education, its approach is to inspire youth to pursue careers in manufacturing; support students studying for a career in an engineering-related field, and prepare these students to participate in a global economy. The Foundation has provided more than $24 million in grants, scholarships and awards. Visit www.smeef.org and its award-winning Web site for young people, www.manufacturingiscool.com.
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