INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 2, 2014) – Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the recipient of a $1 million grant from The Goizueta Foundation aimed at increasing student access to high-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programming in the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, area. One hundred percent of the funds will go directly to elementary and middle schools in a 10-county region to assist them in implementing PLTW’s hands-on, activity-based STEM programs.
K-12 education is a key area of support for the Atlanta-based foundation. Through its giving, The Goizueta Foundation supports educational programs that promote sustainable change and have a long-term impact in the community.
"Through this partnership with Project Lead The Way, we hope to expand the impact of Metro Atlanta schools by increasing their capacity to deliver high-quality, hands-on programming that is often a significant contributor to many students’ academic successes,” said Olga Goizueta Rawls, chair and CEO of The Goizueta Foundation. “We believe that PLTW’s innovative and research-based strategies will give more students and teachers throughout our local communities the opportunity to become fully engaged in and benefit from STEM education.”
“The support from The Goizueta Foundation will pay dividends for generations,” said Dr. Rex Bolinger, PLTW senior vice president and chief development officer. “Numerous studies highlight the importance of introducing students to STEM subjects early in their education before they get discouraged or turned off by math and science. It’s too late to wait until high school to give students opportunities in the sciences, technology, or engineering. The students affected by The Goizueta Foundation’s generosity will go on to become our country’s next STEM leaders and innovators.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that, by 2018, STEM-related jobs in the U.S. will grow by 17 percent, nearly double the rate of jobs in non-STEM fields. The growth will lead to 211,000 new STEM jobs in Georgia. In Georgia currently, unemployment in STEM fields is only 3 percent, versus 8 percent unemployment for other careers. In non-STEM fields, there are an estimated 4.5 jobseekers for every job posting, but in STEM fields, two STEM jobs for every person who is unemployed.
Schools that are eligible to apply for grant funding include public and charter elementary and middle schools in the Atlanta-area counties of Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglass, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, and Rockdale. Grant funding will be awarded for a two-year period and will cover costs associated with starting and sustaining the PLTW program, such as program participation fees, teacher professional development, and classroom equipment and supplies. Schools may apply via the PLTW School Grant Program page beginning in January 2015.
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM programs. 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, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 6,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia currently offer PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.