Boeing gives grant to USC's STEM education program
By Kathryn McPhail
The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum soon will improve for some middle school students in the Charleston area, thanks to a grant from The Boeing Company to the University of South Carolina’s College of Engineering and Computing (CEC).
The $100,000 grant will allow the CEC to expand its Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program into College Park Middle School, West Ashley Middle School, Alston Middle School and St. George Middle School.
PLTW is the leading provider of innovative STEM education curriculum used in middle and high schools across the United States. Currently, USC supports 98 PLTW high schools and 79 middle schools. High school students in the program can earn college credit for engineering courses taken in high school. Nearly 200 teachers attend the workshops each summer at USC to learn the best way to teach the engineering and technology curriculum.
“We want to increase the number of PLTW programs in middle schools in hopes we reach students at a younger age, “ said Donn Griffith, PLTW affiliate director. “The Boeing Company’s generous grant will allow us to reach more students. The ultimate goal is that more students will pursue STEM careers which will benefit economic development throughout the state.”
The grant money will be used to purchase lab supplies, computers and equipment needed to deliver the PLTW courses.
“This gift shows Boeing’s strong commitment to our state and communities,” said Tony Ambler, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing. “Their support will enhance education for students, and hopefully, spark a love of math, science, engineering and technology in our next generation.”
The students will take courses in design and modeling, automation and robotics, and flight and space. Teachers from the four middle schools will attend the PLTW learning workshops this summer at no cost, thanks to the agreement.
“Science, technology, engineering and mathematics education is a high priority for The Boeing Company,” said Jack Jones, vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina. “In a global economy, our children deserve access to high quality education and opportunities to develop skills that will enable them to realize their dreams. The USC College of Engineering and Computing’s Project Lead the Way program gives greater STEM access to students across South Carolina, and it’s a program that Boeing is proud to support.”
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