The SME Education Foundation has funded $815,000 to its industry partner, Project Lead The Way for expansion of its Gateway Academy, a summer program which introduces 6th – 8th grade students to the basics of engineering concepts.
DEARBORN, Mich., March 15, 2010 — Through their continued efforts to bring manufacturing careers to the forefront of American K-12 STEM education, the SME Education Foundation has granted $815,000 to Project Lead the Way (PLTW). The funds will be used to expand the Foundation's award-winning Gateway Academy to 300 middle schools located throughout the U.S. Designed to prepare 6th – 8th grade students for pre-engineering and technology based coursework, the one week summer camp experience is unlike any other and introduces students to a learning experience based on imagination, innovation and discovery.
They quickly learn they don't have to just imagine — but can actually do things and work hands-on with technology that other students only read about. Instead of listening to a lecture about scientific principles and theories, kids learn how to test in fun, exciting ways. They learn about drafting and graphic design on the computer, use real lab equipment, and are involved in projects such as building robotic vehicles and gliders, and learning the challenge of building bridges – all while having fun doing it.
"Increasing numbers of young people are becoming aware of our Gateway Academy and enthused about taking advantage of its more challenging coursework," says Bart Aslin, director, SME Education Foundation. "All due we think, to involved parents and teachers who understand the importance of science, technology, engineering and math courses that prepare students to meet the demands of a global economy."
The PLTW middle and high school STEM education programs are highly regarded and recognized for developing motivated, well-rounded students by instilling confidence, stressing the importance of self-discovery, encouraging problem solving and critical thinking; teaching team building, and rewarding creativity.
Students develop skills essential for achievement in the classroom and success in college and at work. They also achieve significantly higher scores in reading, mathematics, and science. Graduates earn higher GPAs as college freshmen, and are 5 to 10 times more likely to study engineering and technology.
About Project Lead The Way:
Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national 5013c, not-for-profit educational program, prepares middle and high school students to be the most innovative and productive leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Through an engaging, hands-on curriculum, PLTW encourages the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning, and a love of learning.Visit www.pltw.org.
About the 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 2009, the SME Education Foundation held 237 Gateway Academies and reached over 4,800 students in 28 states. Their goal is to increase to 300 Gateway Academies in 2010. For more information about the Gateway Academy program, contact Project Lead The Way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the SME Education Foundation:
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $29 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit www.smeef.org and award-winning website for young people – www.ManufacturingisCool.com.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact SME Public Relations at 313.425.3000, email email@example.com or fax: 313.425.3403.