Partnership Aims to Boost STEM at IPS

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Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has announced a partnership that aims to increase STEM education programs at Indianapolis Public Schools. Thanks to a $250,000 donation from Indianapolis-based American Structurepoint, all IPS schools will have the opportunity to offer Project Lead The Way programs.

The Indianapolis-based organization provides a "comprehensive approach to STEM education." Rick Conner, president and chief operating officer of American Structurepoint, says PLTW programs will bring a new dimension to classroom learning, making it more relevant, engaging and hands-on so students learn at a faster rate.

The donation is part of American Structurepoint's 50th anniversary celebration. "We really believe that there's no better way for us to say 'thank you' to the city of Indianapolis for our prosperity than to invest in the youth in our community that we serve," says Conner.

Schools will begin offering PLTW programs at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year. PLTW and American Structurepoint will be working with IPS to make sure the programs' implementation is effective. Conner says the value of these programs will go beyond the money required to get them started in the classrooms.

"We believe it'll increase graduation rates, send more students on to higher education, maybe some into a STEM curriculum in higher education, and then hopefully return some of those right back here to Indianapolis for rewarding careers," Conner says. "It's very important to us. This is what we do as a business. We're involved in STEM activities so it's only right that we invest back in the community and help IPS train students in a STEM curriculum."

PLTW provides services to students as young as kindergarten. IPS will be able to use the program to create K-12 pathways in computer science, engineering and biomedical science that will ensure they are college- and career-ready when they graduate.

"Every year our country sees the creation of millions of new jobs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields," said Hogsett. "If we are not doing everything we can to prepare our students for careers in these innovative fields, we are failing them. Today’s announced investment by American Structurepoint is an important first step in providing opportunities like this to all Indianapolis children."

Project Lead The Way programs are utilized in 8,000 schools throughout the country. Click here to learn more about the organization.

Conner says PLTW programs will bring a new dimension to classroom learning.
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