Dart Foundation Announces Grant to Expand Access to PLTW

INDIANAPOLIS (April 8, 2014) – Students in two United States high schools will now have access to Project Lead The Way’s Engineering program thanks to a generous contribution by the Dart Foundation. On Tuesday, Dart Foundation announced a $35,000 commitment to each school, and over a three-year period, the grant will support costs associated with beginning a new Project Lead The Way (PLTW) program, including teacher training, classroom equipment and supplies, as well as the annual participation fee for offering the program. PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs for elementary, middle, and high schools.

The schools selected to receive grant funds are Heritage High School in Conyers, Ga., and Urbana High School in Urbana, Ill. Dart Foundation’s support will help hundreds of students experience world-class STEM curriculum and the application of STEM subjects through real-world experiences.

"As a funder of STEM education programs, we look for opportunities that encourage science and math learning as well as career exploration,” said Ariane Dart, trustee of the Dart Foundation. “Project Lead The Way engages students in these disciplines through curriculum that makes these subjects relevant in the classroom and beyond."

The PLTW Engineering program is designed for students in grades 9-12. At its foundation, the program teaches students to think critically, solve problems, and collaborate with one another to find solutions. Through a series of courses, students learn and apply the engineering design process, use industry-leading technology and software, and study topics such as robotics, aerodynamics and astronautics, biological engineering, manufacturing, and digital electronics. Students often have the opportunity to earn college credit, admissions preferences, or scholarships for completed PLTW courses.

“Every student in America deserves access to rigorous, hands-on, relevant STEM education, but we cannot do this work alone,” said Project Lead The Way President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Bertram. “The Dart Foundation is a critical partner in this effort, and we are extremely grateful for their support.”

The Dart Foundation is a private foundation established in 1984 by William A. and Claire T. Dart.  Headquartered in Mason, Mich., its core mission is to advance and encourage youth education, primarily in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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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 www.pltw.org.