Council on Postsecondary Education and Department of Education
PRE-ENGINEERING GRANTS AWARDED
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – Thirteen Kentucky school districts are recipients of Engineering Pipeline Implementation Grant Awards, which will help them develop engineering initiatives to prepare more students to enter engineering careers and enhance the quality of mathematics and science instruction statewide.
The awards, which are jointly sponsored by the Kentucky Department of Education and the Council on Postsecondary Education, will provide $650,000 over two years to be shared among the 13 awardees. School districts may use the funds for laboratory equipment, computers and/or computer upgrades, travel expenses and resources and professional development for integrating engineering activities beginning at the elementary level and continuing through high school.
The awardees are:
• Corbin Independent
• Fayette County
• Glasgow Independent
• Graves County
• Jefferson County
• Jessamine County
• Kenton County
• Lawrence County
• Marshall County
• Morgan County
• Pulaski County
• Scott County
• Trigg County
“Beginning at the very earliest grades, this funding should provide students with new opportunities to participate in programs that will give them a strong base for study at the postsecondary level,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Gene Wilhoit. “Pre-engineering programs and their accompanying math, science and technology applications will prepare students for higher-level learning and for their careers after high school and college.”
“This partnership will help our institutions increase their capacity to recruit, educate and graduate additional engineers to fuel Kentucky’s economic growth in the global economy,” said Tom Layzell, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education.
“Kentucky now has to compete not only with neighboring states, but also with India, China and other countries that are making tremendous investments in education, technology and research. This joint initiative steps up Kentucky’s efforts to get more of our population educated in the math and science disciplines, which is so essential in today’s economy.”
“Professional engineers across Kentucky are ready to help and are excited about the opportunity these grants will provide for students to learn about and experience engineering,” said George Binder, executive director for the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers. “Students interested in the profession will gain the preparation needed to succeed at the next level of learning. Engineering is sometimes called the ‘hidden profession,’ even though nearly everything made on this planet that we touch and use was first developed by an engineer. Every generation needs students prepared to be engineers.”
At the elementary level, the school districts will integrate basic engineering concepts with math and science instruction to provide foundations for broader instruction at the middle school level. Middle school programs will offer “Gateway To Technology” courses to provide an engineering foundation and a pipeline for students entering the high school pre-engineering program.
The districts will implement “Project Lead the Way” (PLTW) programs at the high school level that include a sequence of five pre-engineering courses, combined with traditional college-preparatory mathematics and science courses.
School districts will begin implementing the programs in the 2006-07 school year. This summer, teachers from those districts will attend two-week Project Lead the Way institutes.
PLTW is a national program that brings together public schools, higher education institutions and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from the education system. PLTW was developed in the 1990s in New York and now is offered in more than 45 states.
The school districts also will create partnerships with industry and other schools to prepare students to be successful in engineering and engineering technology programs at the postsecondary level.