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University industry council awards $37.5K to innovative engineering "athletics" programs

Bruce Schafer, Director, OUS Industry Affairs; Office: 503-725-2915; Cell: 503-332-4666
Jo Oshiro, Program Coordinator, OUS; Office: 503-725-2910

Portland, November 23, 2010: The Oregon University System (OUS) and the Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC) are pleased to announce the awarding of $37,575 in grants to Oregon high schools across the state for the implementation of pre-engineering curricula and activities for students. More Oregon high schools will offer students the opportunity to learn about the "sport" of engineering through the innovative program, eCHAMP - Engineering CoacHing And Mentoring Program. eCHAMP uses a model analogous to high school athletics.

The funding is one component of ETIC's goal to increase pre-college engineering programs and engineering degrees in order to meet state and industry needs for a highly-skilled, globally competitive workforce in Oregon. Bruce Schafer, executive director of ETIC, says, "More schools are seeing that engineering and robotics extracurricular teams are a great way to challenge and excite students about math and science, and in many cases the teams also inspire students to pursue college and career paths in engineering and technology."

Through the ETIC grants, Oregon high schools will be able to pay teachers stipends for serving as coaches of engineering teams, as they do for coaches and advisors of athletics, debate, and music competitions. These engineering teams attend a regional or statewide competition to share their results and compete for awards, and benefit from the learning, inspiration, teamwork, scholarships, and rewards that competitive activities provide.

The eCHAMP grants pay half the stipend cost for teachers to serve as engineering coaches as well as costs for first-year materials and equipment to start new programs. There are numerous team programs already in place for schools to adopt, including FIRST© LEGO© League, FIRST© Tech Challenge, FIRST© Robotics Competition, Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams, Oregon Game Project Challenge, and Design for the other 90%.

Alain Chirinian, Instructor at Brookings Harbor High School, recipient of a $6,000 grant this year, said: "Thanks to the ETIC grant, our students from freshman to senior grade levels will have a place to go that will satiate their desire to pursue robotics and pre engineering. Pre-engineering coursework opens up a world of career path and academic options that prepares them for the emerging job market in high technology fields, fields they would not otherwise be aware of, let alone, prepared for."

High School



Brookings Harbor High School



Clackamas Academy of Industrial Science

Oregon City


Hillsboro High School



McMinnville H.S. Engineering & Aerospace Sciences



Sherwood High School



Silverton High School



Sweet Home High School

Sweet Home


The Dalles Wahtonka High School

The Dalles


Tualatin High School



Union High School




The Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC) is a public-private partnership that was launched by the Oregon Legislature in 1997. For more information on ETIC, go to: www.oregonetic.org

Oregon University System (OUS) comprises seven distinguished public universities and one branch campus, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services, and lifelong learning. The Oregon State Board of Higher Education, the statutory governing board of OUS, is composed of twelve members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon State Senate. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu.

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