PLTW and SME-EF Announce 2012 Grant Recipients

INDIANAPOLIS (April 23, 2012) –Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation (SME-EF) are pleased to announce a $100,000 donation to upgrade Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) laboratories at 20 PLTW schools. Each school will receive $5,000 toward the purchase of new equipment.

Recipients of this year’s SME-EF donation are:

Kettering Fairmont High School- Dayton, Ohio
Wilson School District- West Lawn, Pa.
Lewis Central Community Schools- Council Bluffs, Iowa
Nashua Technology Center CTE- Nashua, N.H.
Tri-Rivers C.C.- Marion, Ohio
Hawthorne High School of Engineering- Hawthorne, Calif.
Bonney Lake High School- Sumner, Wash.
Francis Tuttle Pre-Engineering Academy – Oklahoma City, Okla.
Garrett Morgan Academy- Patterson, N.J.
Wheeling High School- Wheeling, Ill.
Summit Technology Academy- Kansas City, Mo.
Racine Unified School District- Racine, Wis.
Centerville City Schools-Dayton, Ohio
Kokomo Area Career Center- Kokomo, Ind.
Waubun High School- Waubun, Minn.
Great Oaks- Cincinnati, Ohio
Cope Area Career Center- Cope, S.C.
Lenawee Intermediate School District- Adrian, Mich.
W.J. Kennan High School- Columbia, S.C.
Advanced Technology Complex- Denton, Texas

Since 2006, PLTW and the SME-EF have been working together to engage more students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. In 2010, SME-EF donated $815,000 to implement the Gateway Academy at 250 schools—a summer program designed to inspire middle school students to learn more about innovation and STEM-related fields. The donation also helped upgrade CIM course equipment in 50 high schools. A $400,000 donation in 2011 upgraded an additional 80 PLTW schools’ CIM laboratories. The newest round of funding completes CIM upgrades at 165 schools and brings SME-EF’s total commitment to PLTW to more than $5.4 million over the last six years.

“PLTW is so very grateful for the generosity and support of SME-EF,” said PLTW President and CEO Vince Bertram. “The Foundation consistently makes an effort to learn about the ever-changing needs of PLTW teachers and students, and we feel extremely fortunate to have a partner so in touch with what we are doing. We look forward to many more years of working together to prepare today’s students for the global economy.”

The Foundation is also continuing its work to recruit manufacturers and local businesses to serve on advisory boards at PLTW high schools while also encouraging industry members to set up new CIM Education Centers. Advisory board members also offer mentorships and internships to PLTW students.

“It’s important for young people to find out who they are and what they’re good at,” said Bart A. Aslin, chief operating officer of SME-EF. “Our efforts are all about paying more attention to young people in what we think is a critical time in their educational life, giving them career opportunities by developing their skills in advanced manufacturing.”

The first CIM laboratories were introduced and funded by SME-EF at pre-existing PLTW schools in Charlotte, N.C. and Lee’s Summit, Mo. Funded states now include: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

Said Aslin, “Companies are re-evaluating their competitive positions and are clear about the lack of skilled workers they need to expand and innovate. For the worker, it’s personal and all about initiative. Their job security, quality of life and the education and future job prospects for their children are at risk. We are funding these and other technology-based programs to give students – at all economic levels—an opportunity to become technically skilled with the ability to think beyond the world where they live and learn how to innovate and create. That is the job of an engineer.”

To learn more about the unique and growing partnership between SME-EF and PLTW, visit www.smeef.org and www.pltw.org.

###

About PLTW
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is the leading provider of rigorous and innovative STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education curricular programs used in schools. As a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, PLTW exists to prepare students for the global economy through its world-class curriculum, high quality professional development, and an engaged network of educators, students, universities and professionals. PLTW's comprehensive curriculum has been collaboratively designed by PLTW teachers, university educators, engineering and biomedical professionals, and school administrators to promote critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving skills in students. The hands-on, project-based program engages students on multiple levels, exposes them to areas of study that they typically do not pursue, and provides them with a foundation and proven path to college and career success. More than 4,200 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.

About the SME Education Foundation 
The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at www.smeef.org. Also visit CareerMe.org, for information on advanced manufacturing careers and our award-winning Web site for young people, www.manufacturingiscool.com.