Lockheed Martin Supports K-12 Implementation of PLTW in Huntsville, Alabama

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Aug. 12, 2014) – A $200,000 grant from Lockheed Martin will bring new opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to students and teachers in the Huntsville City School District this year. Today, during the kick-off of the Space and Missile Defense Symposium in Huntsville, Lockheed Martin officials announced the company’s donation to Project Lead The Way (PLTW) to implement PLTW’s elementary STEM program – PLTW Launch – in all 26 Huntsville elementary schools.

“Lockheed Martin’s generous support of Project Lead The Way emphasizes the importance of investing in our nation’s youngest learners,” said Dr. Rex Bolinger, PLTW senior vice president and chief development officer. “PLTW Launch is designed to help students feel excited, comfortable, and confident in STEM subjects from an early age. These students will hopefully go on to pursue STEM careers and be our country’s top employees and business leaders.”

As a result of the grant, all 52 Huntsville elementary, middle, and high schools will now offer PLTW programs to more than 23,000 students in the district. This makes the Huntsville City School District the largest school district in Alabama – and one of the largest in the nation – to implement PLTW district-wide.

“This is an exciting time for teachers and students in Huntsville City Schools,” said Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski. “Our district has already witnessed success with Project Lead The Way at the middle school and high school level, and we believe the implementation of these programs at the elementary school level will engage students in STEM at an earlier age and help them develop critical skills that will lead to great success throughout their K-12 education and beyond. We thank Lockheed Martin for its generous support.”

Through the Lockheed Martin grant, 52 Huntsville City School teachers attended PLTW’s rigorous, in-person professional development training this summer. The grant also provides all of the necessary classroom equipment and supplies needed in the hands-on, project-based curriculum. Lockheed Martin employees will also volunteer as part of the company’s “Engineers in the Classroom” initiative.

“Lockheed Martin is committed to being a valued community partner in Huntsville and enhancing the quality of life in the communities where we live and work. We are focused on enriching students’ lives through science, technology, engineering, and math programs, and supporting our military service members and veterans,” said Jim Rogers, vice president of business development at Lockheed Martin. “Lockheed Martin’s partnership with Project Lead The Way is designed to educate and inspire tomorrow’s scientists, engineers, and mathematicians,” he added.

Lockheed Martin is one of PLTW’s National Partners. In 2013, the company committed $6 million over four years to expand PLTW programs in select U.S. school districts. Across the U.S., more than 6,000 schools offer at least one PLTW program, including PLTW Engineering, PLTW Biomedical Science, and PLTW Computer Science for high school students, PLTW Gateway for middle school students, and PLTW Launch for students in grades K-5. Through hands-on, project-based learning, PLTW programs equip students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in the global economy.

About PLTW 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 6,000 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.