National, State, and Local Leaders Welcome Non-Profit to Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS (December 14, 2011) —Leaders on the national, state, and local levels praised the work being done by educators across Indiana during a luncheon Tuesday afternoon, saying the state’s educational climate sets the perfect stage for Indiana’s newest addition, Project Lead The Way (PLTW). PLTW is America’s leading provider of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curriculum and is officially moving its headquarters to Indianapolis this month. The move to Indianapolis comes after a major announcement on behalf of PLTW, Develop Indy, and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation in September of this year.

“[Project Lead The Way’s move] is a landmark moment for the state,” remarked Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels to a crowd of more than 200 at IUPUI’s University Place Conference Center and Hotel. “There is a desperate urgency to do what’s right by our kids.”PLTW Board Secretary Jim Rahn echoed Daniels’ sentiments when talking about the move to Indianapolis. “Indiana has been Project Lead The Way’s number one fan in terms of number of schools adopting the curriculum,” he said. “Today it becomes Project Lead The Way’s home.”

Daniels’ and Rahn’s comments were accompanied by similar remarks from former United States Secretary of Education William Bennett, Indiana State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and PLTW CEO Vince Bertram. Before the luncheon, all had a chance to view the work being done by students at PLTW schools across Indiana. Students spanned the PLTW curricular programs, coming from both middle and high schools that have implemented the technology, biomedical science, and engineering programs. They demonstrated projects and inventions ranging from new mobile apps featured on the Apple iTunes market to engineered rockets and race cars.

After talking with and viewing the student’s work, those in attendance say it only increases the urgency of Project Lead The Way’s mission and the decision to move to Indiana. “How do we make the opportunity available for all students? I would tell you that’s why we’re here,” PLTW CEO Vince Bertram said. “We operate in a space that’s critical for this country; this state values urgency and creates the conditions for success.”

Students answer questions about their project from Former U.S. Secretary of Education William Bennett.