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Louis Calder Foundation Funds Elementary STEM

INDIANAPOLIS (May 15, 2014) – The Louis Calder Foundation has contributed $250,000 to Project Lead The Way (PLTW), the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, to support the PLTW Launch program for students in grades K-5. Through the Foundation’s generous support, 51 schools have or will receive funding to offset expenses related to implementing the PLTW Launch program, such as teacher training, participation fees or program supplies.

“The Louis Calder Foundation’s support of PLTW’s elementary STEM education efforts is admirable,” said PLTW President and CEO Dr. Vince Bertram. “It is absolutely critical that we engage students in math and science as early as kindergarten to help them develop a life-long love of these subjects and begin building the essential skills that will prepare them for success. Thanks to The Louis Calder Foundation, students across the United States are getting access to this kind of education.”

PLTW Launch is one of PLTW’s newest program offerings, released as a pilot program during the 2013-14 school year to 43 schools across the United States. The Louis Calder Foundation supported these 43 schools by funding teachers’ professional development. During the 2014-15 school year, the Foundation will continue supporting PLTW Launch through an additional series of grants to help schools implement the full release of the program.

Studies show that students decide as early as elementary school whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. PLTW Launch is designed to capture students’ interest in math and science and spark a lifelong passion. Through activities, projects, and problems, students develop their critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving skills and build confidence in the STEM subjects.

“The Louis Calder Foundation is pleased to partner with PLTW as it expands its STEM program to the elementary grades,” said Holly Nuechterlein, grant program director for The Louis Calder Foundation. “PLTW Launch is crucial in providing students a broader base of content knowledge in the early grades.” 

The Louis Calder Foundation was established in 1951 by Louis Calder (1879-1963) "for educational, charitable and benevolent uses and purposes" and continues to operate as a Trust under New York State law. The program focus of The Louis Calder Foundation is education reform, and schools supported by the Foundation have traditionally been public charter or parochial schools. The eight schools that will receive funding in the 2014-15 school year are charter schools, and each already offers either the PLTW Gateway program for middle school students or the PLTW Engineering or PLTW Biomedical Science programs for high school students.

About PLTW Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of 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 5,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit