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STEM Manufacturing Program at Esperanza High School Secures PRIME Funding, Exemplary Ranking

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The SME Education Foundation has selected Esperanza High School, Anaheim, Calif., as an exemplary school to participate in its PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) program, a comprehensive, community-based approach to manufacturing education.

DEARBORN, Mich., ANAHEIM, Calif., November 13, 2012 —Esperanza High School, Anaheim, Calif., has been named one of nine exemplary schools selected by the SME Education Foundation’s PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) 2013 program. Launched in fall 2011 with the selection of six schools in six different states, PRIME takes a community-based approach to manufacturing education by creating strong partnerships between organizations, businesses and exemplary schools.

The PRIME designation for Esperanza High School comes with a three-year commitment by the SME Education Foundation to provide assistance in creating and fostering strong partnerships with the local manufacturing base to provide job shadows, mentoring and internships. In addition, PRIME schools receive funds totaling $35,000 for the three years to support post-secondary scholarships, equipment upgrades, continuing education for instructors and a STEM-based camp for middle school students.

Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation says, “Esperanza High School was named an exemplary PRIME school because of their skilled and dedicated instructors, engaged and active students, strong administrative support, the right mix of academic and real-world experience and the measureable success of their Engineering and Manufacturing Academy.”

At Esperanza, most of the PRIME funding will be directed to the expansion of their University of California – Irvine, (UCI) Engineering Performance Program and Esperanza’s Engineering and Manufacturing Academy introduced in 2011.The Engineering and Manufacturing Academy offers an Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing Program that is a project and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-based course of study.

PRIME funding will also support field trips to increase student awareness and the involvement of local business; continued involvement of the PTA at Community Awareness events, and Counselor “Teas” to motivate and inform counselors. Instructor training will be provided for their geometry teacher using SolidWorks and MasterCam to better illustrate to students how geometry relates to the creation of a working part. This highly successful template for manufacturing education has also been acknowledged by the Orange County Board of Education who named it a model school.

Engineering Instructor, Larry Enyon and Manufacturing Instructor, Dennis “Walt” Walters work hard to provide access to the best possible in equipment and facilities. Says Walters, “PRIME is not about us, it’s about setting the bar, increasing awareness and encouraging school districts to improve their relationships and effectiveness as they work with local universities, business and industry. Shared knowledge benefits our students. It is gratifying to work one-on-one with our students and help them realize their potential by understanding how to connect the dots. Every school district should have a program like this for their district students. No excuses.”

Esperanza’s CTE choices offer an introduction to Mechanical Engineering with a two-semester class, “Principles of Engineering and Manufacturing.” These classes articulate with California State-Fullerton for three units of college credit at a cost $15.00. Also, the University of California-Irvine accepts all of Esperanza’s CTE courses to be used for student GPA calculations for entrance. The CTE Program provides high-achieving students with hands-on experience to prepare them for challenging college engineering programs and their future careers. Higher numbers of these students have been transferring to this CTE program.

“Students need to have some hands-on skills to see the relevancy,” says Enyon. “We want to give industry students, who have mechanical background in engineering and manufacturing, practical skills — how to use the machinery, tools and some design skills.” The Esperanza Class of 2013 consists of 400 students, all of which over 92 percent are expected to enroll in a college or university upon graduation.

“The focus at Esperanza has always been on the college-bound student,” says Walters. “With the inception of the CTE Program, and our Engineering and Manufacturing Academy, Esperanza offers two pathways: the UC/CSU pathway student, the four-year university student, and Community College/Industry Certificate pathway students that we identify as our “Mid-Kids.” The “Mid-Kid” is being introduced to the possibilities of a career in advanced or high-tech manufacturing and future connections to a career if they pursue industry certifications available through Esperanza. Also, our academic instructors, in Geometry and Language Arts for technical writing, have new enthusiasm for incorporating a Career Readiness curriculum. Long-term, we’re also working on testing procedures for “Common Core Standards.”

PRIME was developed as a response to the growing skills gap crisis in the United States along with its greater mission to inspire, prepare and support STEM-interested students. Upon graduation, students leave school with the tools to further their education and become skilled future innovators and contributors to industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in professional, scientific, and technical services is expected to grow by 29 percent, adding 2.1 million new jobs between 2010 and 2020.

In a new report, "Orange County Workforce Indicators Report 2012-2013,” issued by the Orange County Investment Board, the fast growth of high-tech clusters in Orange County and future job opportunities will be primarily located in the high-tech industry. It further states that ensuring the future workforce is properly educated in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), is a critical first step in establishing economic sustainability for Orange County individuals and communities.

PRIME sites for 2013 include: Alabama: Calera High School, Calera, Ala.; California: Esperanza High School, Anaheim, Calif.; Petaluma High School, Petaluma, Calif.; Indiana: McKenzie Center for Innovation and Technology, Indianapolis, Ind.; Iowa: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa; Massachusetts: Westfield Vocational Technical High School, Westfield, Mass.; Michigan: Jackson Area Community Center, Jackson, Mich.; Ohio: Centerville High School, Dayton, Ohio, and Wisconsin: Bradley Technical High School, Milwaukee, Wis.

Education Partners:
Orange County Department of Education OC/STEM (Alisa McCord); OCDE Media Services; OCDE STEM Grant SB 70 Governor’s Career Technical Education Initiative; Placentia/Yorba Linda Unified School District Board of Education; PYLUSD-CTE Advisory Committee and Vital Link

Industry Partners:
Barton Mines, Benner Metals, Forest Scientific (John Martincic); Haas Machine Tools; HSM Works; Omax Group; Paton Group (Frank Paxton & Chris Miller); Paxton Patterson (John Waltemeyer); Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and SME Education Foundation

About Esperanza High School (EHS):
Esperanza High School, Anaheim, California, is a comprehensive four-year public high school that is part of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. The school serves an enrollment of 1808 students of the primarily residential community in the northeast part of Orange County. It is a California Distinguished School and is home to numerous academic clubs and various C.I.F. championship athletic programs. With an API of 861, the school’s rank is in the top 25 percent of Orange County high schools and in May 2007, received a full six-year clear accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Visit: http://www.esperanzahs.com/

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 $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 our award-winning website for young people at www.ManufacturingisCool.com, and www.CareerMe.org for information on advanced manufacturing careers.

Media Contacts: Bart A. Aslin, chief executive officer, SME Education Foundation, 313.425-3302, baslin@sme.org

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If you have any questions or comments, please contact SME Public Relations at 313.425.3000, email communications@sme.org or fax: 313.425.3403.