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Automation Alley Supports Connection
July 25, 2007

Automation Alley announced that it is “pleased to support the connection between the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) as a rich example of collaboration to answer a critical need. Their effort fulfills a critical link…to attract young people to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. Research shows that early exposure to science and math can shape students’ commitment for pursuing careers in technology and engineering.”

Automation Alley met with members of SME Education Foundation, PLTW and the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce to help connect workforce development with education needs. Following the meeting, Automation Alley, on behalf of its 775 members which includes businesses, educational institutions and government entities in Southeast Michigan, expressed “strong support for STEM education initiatives, including the Science, Technology and Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) Academy.”

The SME Education Foundation and PLTW created STEPS Academy to help increase middle school students’ interest in taking Gateway to Technology classes during the school year. At each STEPS Academy, PLTW-certified instructors facilitate project-based, high-interest instruction and activities. The co-ed program allows campers to use leading-edge technologies that they would otherwise most likely not encounter until college, sampling disciplines such as robotics, electronics and aerospace. By giving students a preview of the exciting applications of science, technology and engineering, STEPS Academy motivates students to get involved in school-year Gateway to Technology courses and take more advanced science and math courses in high school in preparation for college.

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