OrthoWorx Steps up For STEM Program

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OrthoWorx has announced a $300,000 donation to expand a science, technology, engineering and math program at Warsaw Community Schools. The funding will help boost teacher training and the creation of a STEM Mobile Learning Laboratory. August 26, 2013

News Release

WARSAW, Ind. - OrthoWorx announced today that it would partner with the Warsaw Community Schools Corporation to further expand STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in the region. Through the Orthopedics Capital Foundation, OrthoWorx has committed $300,000 toward the school corporation's Moving STEM Forward plan, which will provide a roadmap for STEM education through all grades, will fund teacher professional development at the elementary level and will help create a STEM Mobile Learning Laboratory. The corporation is providing $182,000 of its own funds toward the plan, which will be implemented beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.

The Moving STEM Forward plan will enable greater STEM-focused project based learning in all of the corporation’s eight elementary schools. OrthoWorx and the school corporation have a longer-term goal to see STEM-focused education available at all grade levels. The Moving STEM Forward plan will lay the foundation by preparing elementary school students for more advanced STEM experiences in middle school and high school.

"The evidence continues to mount that many of today’s jobs and most of the great jobs of the future will require STEM knowledge and skills, not just in orthopedics, but in nearly every enterprise in our region," said Sheryl Conley, OrthoWorx Chief Executive Officer. "As a community, we need to recognize the critical need for STEM learning and the problem-solving and leadership skills that come with it. This is not a ‘nice-to-do,’ this has to do with our long-term economic vitality. Initiatives such as this one underscore the timely opportunity represented by the matching funds challenge we have from Lilly Endowment Inc. Every eligible dollar we raise before October 15 will be matched by the Endowment and will be available for reinvestment in our community’s future."

Individuals or companies interested in financially supporting OrthoWorx initiatives in the region can contact OrthoWorx directly or make a contribution electronically at www.kcfoundation.org/OrthoWorxmatch.

Formed in 2009 with initial funding from the Lilly Endowment, OrthoWorx is a non-profit initiative that works strategically and collaboratively with the orthopedic industry and other stakeholders to ensure the Warsaw region continues to reap the social and economic benefits that derive from its position as The Orthopedic Capital of the World.

"As a school corporation, we recognize the importance of providing students with an exceptional foundation in STEM, as part of our mission to help students continuously acquire skills and knowledge to enable them to fulfill their dreams," said Dr. Craig Hintz, Superintendent of the Warsaw Community Schools Corporation.

"We appreciate the support of OrthoWorx in continuing the effort we began with the Washington Elementary STEM Academy. We share the goal of making STEM available in all grades, with the ultimate goal of creation of a high school STEM academy. With OrthoWorx support, our leaders will be participating in the Smithsonian Science Education Center's strategic planning process, allowing us to leverage the thinking of the world’s best thinking in STEM, inquiry-based learning and project-based learning approaches."

According to Dr. Hintz, the Lilly Endowment match of donations to support OrthoWorx is an opportunity for the entire community. "Many of our programs within our school reflect the presence of orthopedic companies and their employees in the community," he said.

"Everyone who benefits from the industry should take note of the opportunity to bring greater investment to our community, such as the funds OrthoWorx has provided in support of STEM education."

In May 2013, OrthoWorx announced that it would support a second year of STEM-focused learning at the Washington Elementary STEM Academy within the Warsaw Community Schools. Launched in 2012 with a State of Indiana Innovation Grant, the Washington STEM Academy will focus on topics and subjects related to orthopedics and the life sciences in the 2013-2014 school year. OrthoWorx provided $112,000 in funding to support the Washington STEM Coach position, additional teacher professional development, and equipment and supplies acquisition.

About OrthoWorx

Formed in 2009 with initial funding from the Lilly Endowment, OrthoWorx (www.orthoworxindiana.com) is a community-based initiative that works strategically and collaboratively with the orthopedic industry and other stakeholders to ensure that the Warsaw region continues to reap the social and economic benefits that derive from its position as The Orthopedic Capital of the World.

About the Lilly Endowment Match Opportunity

The Endowment’s matching opportunity is for cash donations or binding pledges from qualified orthopedic-related donors received by October 15, 2013. Pledges can be multi-year, and gifts will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $3.5 million. Qualifying matching funds must consist of irrevocable contributions of cash or equivalents (e.g. publicly traded stocks or bonds) and legally enforceable pledges to make irrevocable contributions of cash or cash equivalents on or before June 30, 2016. Contributions of cash equivalents will be matched on the basis of their gift value as determined by applicable United States Department of Treasury regulations.

Source: OrthoWorx