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ETIC awards $390,000 in grants for pre-college engineering education

Di Saunders – Office, 503-725-5714; Cell, 503-219-6869
Bruce Schafer, OUS Director of Industry Affairs: 503-725-2915

Industry council aims to improve the educational pipeline for Oregon's engineering and high tech workforce

PORTLAND, December 10, 2007 – The Oregon University System announced today that the Engineering & Technology Industry Council (ETIC) has awarded a total of $390,000 in “Pre-College Grants” toward efforts to improve the pipeline of highly skilled engineering and technology students in K-12 and postsecondary education across the state. The grants will fund six model programs sponsored by Oregon public colleges, universities and school districts to expand the state’s ability to motivate and prepare students for success in engineering and high technology careers.

The Pre-College Grants supports ETIC’s strategy to “grow our own” Oregon engineers and computer scientists, and ultimately double the number of engineering and computer science college grads in Oregon to support the industry and economy. The grants also support the Oregon Pre-engineering and Applied Science Initiative (OPAS), a collaboration of industry, education, and policy leaders who have been tackling the pressing need for improvement in pre-engineering and applied science educational pipelines since 2005.

Bruce Schafer, executive director of ETIC, says, “The ETIC grant committee and OPAS leadership are very excited about the quality projects this biennium’s grants support, and for all the students whose eyes will be opened and futures widened as a result of their great work. It is so important to expand student pathways toward these promising careers, and to foster Oregon-grown talent and skills for its high-tech industries.”

The awards were given to programs that advance pre-engineering education efforts through a broad range of outreach, student programs, and curricula that motivate and prepare tomorrow’s engineers and scientists [see the grantee list and project summaries on page 2]. The grantees will serve students across the state from Portland to Hermiston, from Salem to Redmond, and many of the grantee programs will target or expand educational services to underrepresented students, including rural, minority, and female students in an effort to recruit new talent.

The largest grant of $95,000 was awarded to the Salem Keizer School District to support the Keizer Engineering and Applied Science Pathway, which will create integrated pre-engineering and applied science programs in Keizer beginning with 6th grade, extending through high school, and connecting with Oregon universities and community colleges. Salem-Keizer is one of three grantees that will utilize the successful, nationally applied Project Lead the Way curriculum and teacher training, provided by the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT).

Doug Stuivenga, engineering teacher at McNary High School says, “We're very thankful for ETIC’s support for this program, which will give Keizer students, including underrepresented populations, a great opportunity to learn more about and consider engineering careers. We anticipate that many more of our students will be leaving their K-12 experience ready to finish at one of the Oregon universities with degrees in engineering, and ultimately, ready to be tomorrow's innovative engineers.”

ETIC Pre-College Grant Recipients:

Health & Science High School, Beaverton: $74,000 to Leading the Way at HS2 for Pre-Engineering Students: will allow the Engineering and Design Academy to strengthen their pre-engineering education for their students, who include a high percentage of underrepresented, students of color. They will apply the grant toward teacher training, equipment, and college-preparatory coursework based on the Project Lead the Way curriculum.

Oregon State University, The SMILE Program; $73,500 to Engineering the Future: Youth Engagement in STEM, to serve approximately 260 middle school students and their families through sustained professional development for classroom teachers to serve as advisors for after school science and math clubs, an on-campus event for students, and community-based programs for families.

Portland Community College (PCC): $32,640 to the Manufacturing Road Trip to allow PCC and Mt. Hood Community College, in partnership with the Manufacturing 21 Coalition, to host a series of “Road Trips” for high school students to visit members of the manufacturing cluster in Oregon intended to motivate students and demonstrate pathways so that more students successfully transition between education institutions and into the workforce.

Redmond School District: $48,683 to the Students Pursuing a Career in Engineering Project, to expand their Engineering Academy by establishing course offerings in aerospace engineering, biotechnical engineering, civil engineering and architecture in conjunction with Project Lead the Way, through professional development, equipment, and program recruitment.

Salem-Keizer School District: $95,000 to the Keizer Engineering and Applied Science Pathway Through Project Lead the Way, to create an integrated pre-engineering and applied science pathway in Keizer beginning with 6th grade, extending through high school, and connecting with Oregon universities and community colleges. The program will utilize Project Lead the Way curriculum, and focus recruitment on underrepresented students.

University of Oregon, Material Sciences Institute: $66,177 to Motivate Tomorrow’s Scientists through Outreach into Oregon’s Rural Schools to set up a shared science materials resource center in the Umatilla-Morrow Education Service District, while bringing graduate outreach into each of the Hermiston Elementary schools. Graduate students will provide embedded professional development in physical science to teachers.

The Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC) is a public-private partnership that was launched by the Oregon Legislature in 1997. This innovative legislation successfully brought the state’s universities and industry together in full collaboration with clear goals: graduate more and better engineers, computer scientists, and technologists; and expand research. The partnership is made up of executives representing a wide variety of industries from throughout Oregon as well as leadership from Oregon universities. For more information on ETIC, go to: www.oregonetic.org  For more information on the Oregon Pre-Engineering & Applied Sciences Initiative go to www.opas.ous.edu  

Oregon University System comprises seven distinguished public universities, reaching more than one million people each year through on-campus classes, statewide public services and lifelong learning. For additional information, go to www.ous.edu

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