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PRIME Manufacturing Education: Eleven schools you'll wish you could send your child to

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Through PRIME® (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education), the SME Education Foundation is creating strong partnerships between organizations, businesses and exemplary schools to provide a comprehensive, community-based approach to manufacturing education.

DEARBORN, Mich., INDIANAPOLIS, September 23, 2013 — When kids want to learn algebra or how to solve complex problems, you know a school is doing something right. Welcome to the PRIME model schools.

PRIME, a community-based approach to manufacturing education, is part of a commitment by the SME Education Foundation (SME-EF) to address the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. Model schools funded by PRIME offer a STEM-based curriculum (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) that helps prepare young people for highly skilled, good-paying jobs in demand by today’s manufacturers. All but two of this year’s selected schools offer the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) STEM program. PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of in-school STEM curriculum programs, with partnerships in over 5,500 schools nationwide.

PRIME model schools partner with local manufacturing businesses to offer students a range of valuable benefits: mentoring, tours of businesses, job shadowing and internships. Schools also receive funding to support post secondary scholarships, equipment upgrades, STEM-based summer camps for middle school kids and continuing education for instructors. PRIME schools encourage young people to become makers and builders, to discover for themselves not just how things work but why.

Eleven new PRIME schools were added to the 2013-2014 school year, joining 15 other PRIME schools located throughout the country, totaling 26. The new participating schools are: California: San Pasqual High School, Escondido, CA; Colorado: Coronado High School, Colorado Springs, CO; Florida: East Lake High School, Tarpon Springs, FL; Indiana: Area 31 Career Center at Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, IN; Massachusetts: Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA; Minnesota: Saint Michael-Albertville High School, St. Michael, MN; New York: Cazenovia High School, Cazenovia, NY; North Carolina: Hopewell High School, Huntersville, NC; SouthCarolina: Wando High School, Mt. Pleasant, SC; Virginia: Denbigh High School - Aviation Academy, Newport News, VA; and Washington: Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA.

Bart Aslin, CEO of SME Education Foundation, explains why young people should enroll in STEM-based education programs: “The careers available with modern manufacturers are not like the ones that existed 40 or 50 years ago. Today, you work with very sophisticated software and equipment on significant projects that impact people living all over the world. Manufacturers are looking for creative thinkers who enjoy solving complex puzzles and this is the kind of talent our PRIME schools produce.”

To-date, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $685,000 through PRIME to model high schools to help manufacturing and its advanced technologies drive the economic vitality of local communities. This initiative builds on a six-year, $6.5 million investment in STEM-based manufacturing education workforce development programs.

“Project Lead The Way is grateful to the SME Education Foundation for supporting STEM and manufacturing education in America’s schools,” said Project Lead The Way President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Bertram. “The dynamic partnership between Project Lead The Way and SME Education Foundation is producing great results for students and preparing them for the global economy.”

About the SME Education Foundation
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting, and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $33 million in grants, scholarships, and awards since 1980 through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations and individual donors. To learn more, visit the SME Education Foundation at smeef.org. Also visit our award-winning website for young people at ManufacturingisCool.com and CareerMe.org for information on advanced manufacturing careers.

About Project Lead The Way
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the nation’s leading provider of in-school STEM curriculum for middle and high school students. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, helps students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 5,500 schools across the United States offer PLTW’s rigorous and relevant engineering and biomedical sciences programs. For more information, visit www.PLTW.org.

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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.