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Shining a Light on Women Engineers National Engineers Week – February 19-25, 2012

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 SME Education Foundation

SME Education Foundation celebrates high-achieving young women whose careers they’ve influenced with technology-based summer camps, awards, scholarships and grants.

DEARBORN, Mich., February 14, 2012
—The manufacturing industry recognizes two untapped pools of talent – women and minorities. The SME Education Foundation gives special attention to these groups and provides funding with grants, awards and scholarships to promote advanced manufacturing careers and celebrates their achievements at the events of nationally recognized organizations.

In 2012 National Engineers Week, through its first annual New Faces of Engineering College Edition, named Alexandria Moseley, Newburg, Ore., a manufacturing and engineering student at the Oregon State University, as one of 15 most promising college engineering students from the United States and across the world. Alexandria, who will graduate in 2013, was supported with scholarship funding provided by the SME Education Foundation who nominated her.

Alexandria began her career in 2008 as a manufacturing engineer at an Oregon manufacturing company. In 2010, in another internship, she worked on two projects under the supervision of two Industrial Engineers at the Oregon Department of Transportation. In 2011, building on her internship at the manufacturing company, her responsibilities expanded to include supporting production lines by designing work fixtures, modifying layouts, participating in Kaizen and other LEAN events.

Last year, National Engineers Week recognized Brianne Maier, another special SME Education Foundation scholarship recipient. As a young girl, Brianne excelled at math and science and when given an opportunity to attend a technology-based summer camp, she participated. Brianne attended a STEPS (Science, Technology, Engineering, Preview Summer) camp for several years and then when older, participated as a camp counselor. The summer camp experience opened her eyes and influenced her decision to pursue an engineering career.

In 2006, the SME Education Foundation awarded Brianne the Lucile B. Kauffman Women’s Scholarship and Caterpillar Scholars Award. In 2011, National Engineers Week named Brianne an honoree, one of 14 highly-accomplished engineers for their “New Faces of Engineering Class of 2011. Graduating with honors, Brianne is now an Engineer II at General Mills where she specializes in optimizing packaging and machinery interaction for increased performance.

In spite of women dominating the top percentage of U.S. high school graduates, they have shown very little interest in engineering as a career. To attract more women and minorities to engineering fields, the SME Education Foundation funded that first STEPS camp at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 1997, the same camp Brianne Maier attended. It also happened to be the same year Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national education nonprofit was founded.

The technology-based summer camp evolved. Today, the SME Education Foundation partners with PLTW on the Gateway Academy, a co-ed summer day camp for middle school students. Gateway Academies offer fun and challenging hands-on, high-tech projects using a curriculum developed by PLTW with funding provided by the SME Education Foundation. The academies were introduced in 2006 to help middle school students explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics and encourage them to enroll in the PLTW Gateway to Technology (GTT) curriculum.

Approximately 1,000 students participated in the Gateway Academy in 2007 and the majority enrolled in GTT courses that fall. By 2009 over 200 Gateway Academies were being offered across the United States, inspiring over 6,000 students to enroll in PLTW coursework. In 2012, the SME Education Foundation began its third year of funding support to the PLTW Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) course, which includes the VEX® Robotics Design System. To date, the SME Education Foundation has funded CIM upgrades for 167 high schools across the country.

In the fall of 2011, the SME Education Foundation launched PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) to create strong partnerships between organizations, businesses, and exemplary schools to provide a comprehensive, community-based approach to manufacturing education. This builds on a five-year, $5.2 million investment in STEM education. Six model schools were selected in its first phase based on the following criteria: exemplary manufacturing curriculum and/or having a PLTW or Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) curriculum; skilled and dedicated instructors, engaged and active students; strong corporate or administrative support from the manufacturing community, and SME member involvement including SME local chapters.

Selected model schools include: Wheeling High School, Chicago, Ill, Kettering Fairmont High School, Dayton, Ohio; Walker Career Center, Indianapolis, Ind.; Summit Technology Academy, Kansas City, Mo.; Hawthorne High School, Los Angeles, Calif., and Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City, Okla.

About SME Education Foundation Scholarships:
Since 1998, the SME Education Foundation has provided over $5.3 million dollars in scholarships. The Foundation awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors, current undergraduates and masters or doctoral degree students pursuing degrees in manufacturing and related fields at two-year and four-year colleges. The SME Education Foundation is currently accepting scholarship applications for the academic school year 2012/2013. To find out more information about SME Education Foundation scholarships and how to apply, click here. 

About National Engineers Week:
The National Engineers Week Foundation, a formal coalition of more than 100 professional societies, major corporations and government agencies, is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers among young students and by promoting pre-college literacy in math and science. For more information, visit www.eweek.org.  Information about all of the New Faces of Engineering College Edition can be found at www.eweek.org.

About 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 $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at www.smeef.org. Also visit www.CareerMe.org for information on advanced manufacturing careers and www.ManufacturingisCool.com, our award-winning Web site for young people.

Media Contact:
Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation, 313.425-3300, baslin@sme.org; Sayles & Winnikoff Communications: Alan Winnikoff, 212-725-5200 x111, alan@sayleswinnikoff.com Note to Editors: Photos available upon request. 

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If you have questions about the press release or need additional information, please contact SME Public Relations at communications@sme.org.