WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To kick off national Engineers Week, The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) and Project Lead The Way (PLTW) announced a significant partnership to increase K-12 students’ access to high-quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs. Through a $400,000 commitment, Dow will fund PLTW programs in 17 schools in Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. These 17 schools enroll more than 14,000 students, and about half of these students are minority students.
Dow’s support of PLTW furthers the Company’s commitment to building the workforce of tomorrow in the communities where its employees live and work. Through PLTW’s hands-on, activity-based K-12 programs, students become engaged in STEM fields while developing critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration skills – skills identified as crucial by today’s employers.
“STEM-based careers fuel innovation at Dow. We are proud to partner with Project Lead The Way to bring curriculum into our communities’ classrooms that will support teachers by giving them the tools they need to teach STEM subjects, and get students excited about pursuing STEM careers,” said Rob Vallentine, director of Corporate Citizenship at Dow. “The students of today represent the future of this country’s economic prosperity, and Dow is committed to supporting the STEM workforce of tomorrow in our communities.”
The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs by 2018 as a result of a lack of qualified, trained workers. Coincidentally, STEM jobs are expected to grow by 17 percent, nearly double the rate of jobs in other sectors. Expanding access to STEM education for underrepresented minority students is also of great interest as only 10 percent of U.S. scientists and engineers come from underrepresented minority groups.
“The United States is facing a significant skills gap, and Dow is taking action to fill that gap. They are leading by example,” said PLTW President and CEO Dr. Vince Bertram. “Not only are they creating skilled jobs in our economy, but they are helping to develop the workforce to fill those jobs. We are grateful for Dow’s support of Project Lead The Way, which is giving students across the country access to high-quality educational opportunities.”
Through its STEMtheGAP™ initiatives, Dow’s STEM mission is to build the workforce of tomorrow by supporting teachers, motivating student achievement, developing careers, and collaborating with communities to transform STEM education into a driver for innovation, manufacturing, and economic prosperity. In support of this mission, the Dow partnership is supporting three elementary schools, six middle schools, and eight high schools to bring PLTW programs to their students.
In addition to funding PLTW programs, Dow employees will also engage with teachers and students in PLTW classrooms through the Company’s STEM Ambassadors program. These trained STEM Ambassadors aim to support teachers and inspire students by providing real life examples to make challenging concepts easier to understand, while incorporating a strong focus on sharing exciting opportunities available through pursuing STEM careers.
Dow is funding PLTW programs at the following schools in four key Dow communities:
- Guion Creek Middle School – Indianapolis, Indiana
- Lincoln Middle School – Indianapolis, Indiana
- New Augusta Academy North – Indianapolis, Indiana
- Bay City Central High School – Bay City, Michigan
- Handy Middle School – Bay City, Michigan
- Freeland Middle School – Freeland, Michigan
- Freeland High School – Freeland, Michigan
- Bullock Creek High School – Midland, Michigan
- Bullock Creek Middle School – Midland, Michigan
- Emerson site (Ralph Waldo Emerson, Clara Barton and Abraham Lincoln Elementary Schools) – Levittown, Pennsylvania
- Buchanan site (James Buchanan, George Washington and John Fitch Elementary Schools) – Levittown, Pennsylvania
- Devine site (Mary W. Devine, Lafayette, and Maple Shade Elementary Schools) – Levittown, Pennsylvania
- Plaquemine High School – Plaquemine, Louisiana
- East St. John High School – Reserve, Louisiana
- East St. John Elementary – Laplace, Louisiana
- Port Allen High School – Port Allen, Louisiana
- Brusly High School – Brusly, Louisiana
These 17 schools join more than 6,500 schools in the 50 states and the District of Columbia currently offering PLTW programs in engineering, biomedical science, and computer science. In addition to STEM curricula, PLTW also provides professional development to each teacher who instructs a PLTW course. Since 1997, PLTW has trained more than 19,000 teachers in its hands-on, project-based approach.
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company is driving innovations that extract value from the intersection of chemical, physical and biological sciences to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, clean energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's integrated, market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 180 countries and in high-growth sectors such as packaging, electronics, water, coatings and agriculture. In 2014, Dow had annual sales of more than $58 billion and employed approximately 53,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 6,000 products are manufactured at 201 sites in 35 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at www.dow.com.
More information about Dow’s commitment to promoting STEM education can be found at www.dow.com/company/citizenship/stem.htm.
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the nation’s leading provider of K-12 STEM programs. PLTW’s world-class, activity-, project-, and problem-based curriculum and high-quality teacher professional development model, combined with an engaged network of educators and corporate partners, help students develop the skills needed to succeed in our global economy. More than 6,500 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia are currently offering PLTW courses to their students. For more information, visit www.pltw.org.
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