@SME's PRIME school curriculum makes #STEM students want to learn math #pauto #automation #education

Jan. 1, 2000

When kids want to learn algebra or how to solve complex problems, you know a school is doing something right. Welcome to the PRIME model schools.

We have been crusading for people to start reversing the trend toward graduating non-technical students from American high schools for years. Now there are programs, and they are working. Here's one of the best of them, from SME Education Foundation.

When kids want to learn algebra or how to solve complex problems, you know a school is doing something right. Welcome to the PRIME model schools.

PRIME, a community-based approach to manufacturing education, is part of a commitment by the SME Education Foundation (SME-EF) to address the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States. Model schools funded by PRIME offer a STEM-based curriculum (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) that helps prepare young people for highly skilled, good-paying jobs in demand by today’s manufacturers. All but two of this year’s selected schools offer the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) STEM program. PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of in-school STEM curriculum programs, with partnerships in over 5,500 schools nationwide.

PRIME model schools partner with local manufacturing businesses to offer students a range of valuable benefits: mentoring, tours of businesses, job shadowing and internships. Schools also receive funding to support postsecondary scholarships, equipment upgrades, STEM-based summer camps for middle school kids and continuing education for instructors. PRIME schools encourage young people to become makers and builders, to discover for themselves not just how things work but why.

Eleven new PRIME schools were added to the 2013-2014 school year, joining 15 other PRIME schools located throughout the country, totaling 26. The new participating schools are: California: San Pasqual High School, Escondido, CA; Colorado: Coronado High School, Colorado Springs, CO;  Florida: East Lake High School, Tarpon Springs, FL; Indiana: Area 31 Career Center at Ben Davis High School, Indianapolis, IN;  Massachusetts: Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, MA; Minnesota: Saint Michael-Albertville High School, St. Michael, MN; New York: Cazenovia High School, Cazenovia, NY; North Carolina: Hopewell High School, Huntersville, NC; South Carolina: Wando High School, Mt. Pleasant, SC; Virginia: Denbigh High School - Aviation Academy, Newport News, VA; and Washington: Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA. 

Bart Aslin, CEO of SME Education Foundation, explains why young people should enroll in STEM-based education programs: “The careers available with modern manufacturers are not like the ones that existed 40 or 50 years ago. Today, you work with very sophisticated software and equipment on significant projects that impact people living all over the world. Manufacturers are looking for creative thinkers who enjoy solving complex puzzles and this is the kind of talent our PRIME schools produce.”

To-date, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $685,000 through PRIME to model high schools to help manufacturing and its advanced technologies drive the economic vitality of local communities. This initiative builds on a six-year, $6.5 million investment in STEM-based manufacturing education workforce development programs.

“Project Lead The Way is grateful to the SME Education Foundation for supporting STEM and manufacturing education in America’s schools,” said Project Lead The Way President and Chief Executive Officer Vince Bertram. “The dynamic partnership between Project Lead The Way and SME Education Foundation is producing great results for students and preparing them for the global economy.”