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SME Funding Fuels Expansion of Gateway Academy
May 29, 2008

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation has tripled the number of summer Gateway Academy programs — formerly called STEPS Academy — since last year, supporting 181 academies where secondary school students receive hands-on experience that support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The number of week-long summer programs is growing because of increased financial support from corporate and other donors across the nation. Those supporters, along with the SME Education Foundation, which is investing $1.2 million in this year’s Gateway Academies, are committed to sparking middle school students’ interests in manufacturing and technology careers. The Gateway Academy programs, organized as day camps, provide fun and challenging high-tech projects using curriculum developed by Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a nonprofit organization that promotes pre-engineering education for middle and high school students.

Gateway Academy programs and PLTW were established to help introduce more American children to science, technology, engineering and mathematics. More graduates are needed in these fields to replace to number of skilled workers expected to leave the workforce in the next 10 to 15 years.

For more information about the Gateway Academy programs or for a complete listing of this summer’s locations, visit or contact Chance Prigge at (612) 455-1702.

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