Project Lead The Way (PLTW) and National Engineers Week Foundation have announced a partnership that will not only raise awareness for the importance of STEM education, but will educate communities about specific things they can actually do to support STEM education programs. With the 60th Anniversary of National Engineers Week coming up on February 20-26, 2011, PLTW launched a campaign at PLTW.org/EWeek that is designed to generate support for STEM education from students, teachers, STEM professionals and associations. The interactive aspects of the campaign include the submission of photos and videos from current STEM education students and teachers; an essay contest where students have an opportunity to win a prize by answering questions about the value of engineering education; and PLTW's daily tips on how to support STEM education.
"Every day, PLTW students are creating, designing, building and coming up with solutions to real-world problems," said Thor Misko, interim CEO of PLTW. "By highlighting what these students are accomplishing during National Engineers Week and educating the public about how to get involved, we hope to generate more support for STEM education programs that prepare students for the jobs of the 21st century. We are proud to partner with National Engineers Week Foundation to inspire the public to get involved with supporting STEM education so that every student has the opportunity to develop the skills they are going to excel in today's global economy."
PLTW launched a campaign web site pltw.org/eweek dedicated to the National Engineers Week effort. On the site, PLTW will post the videos from students and teachers as well as information about the essay contest. Beginning February 20, PLTW will post daily tips to the site about how the public can get involved with STEM education. The tips will also be posted to PLTW's Facebook page and Twitter page.
"We live in a global economy and that means our students are not just competing with their peers for jobs here, but they are competing with their peers all over the world," said Leslie Collins, executive director, National Engineers Week Foundation. "As a country, we have to improve our education system if we want to remain economically competitive — and STEM education is a big part of that strategy. Our businesses need skilled workers to compete, and our students need the proper training to compete for the jobs. PTLW is engaging students in these fields better than any program in the country, and we are pleased to partner with them to inspire more students to pursue careers STEM fields."