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SME introduces fluid power to middle and high school students.

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October 30, 2008 - SME and NFPA have announced partnership to address unmet need for engineers with knowledge of higher automation and computer-based intelligence. In summer 2009, fluid power concepts will be integral to new curriculum offered in science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing education for middle and high school students. Initial plans are to introduce curriculum at youth-based engineering programs offered by SME Education Foundation through Gateway Academies, and sMe Institute.

Introducing Fluid Power to Middle and High School Students

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1 SME Dr., P.O. Box 930
Dearborn, MI, 48121

Press release date: October 24, 2008

DEARBORN, Mich., October 24, 2008 - The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation and the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) announce a new partnership formed to address an unmet need for engineers with knowledge of higher automation and the computer-based intelligence to run it.

In summer 2009, fluid power concepts will be integral to new curriculum offered in science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM) education for middle and high school students - providing exciting and phenomenal career opportunities for a new generation of engineers.

Initial plans are to introduce the new curriculum at youth-based engineering programs offered by the SME Education Foundation through its Gateway Academies, and sMe Institute. In 2008, the SME Education Foundation held 170 Gateway Academies and reached over 3,000 students in 25 states. Their goal is to increase to 210 Gateway Academies by 2010.

Says Bart Aslin, director of the SME Education Foundation, "There is a great need for engineers who can problem-solve. Our collaboration with NFPA in developing fluid power curriculum will introduce future engineers to the industry's career potential - ranging from disciplines such as electronics and controls to its applications ranging from aerospace to biotech."

The Gateway Academy offers a week-long, co-ed program allowing campers to work together in a fun and exciting environment. Students brainstorm ideas, solve problems and learn the basics of engineering concepts involving robotics, electronics and aerodynamics and then building and operating their own robotic vehicles, gliders and rockets.

The concept of the Gateway Academy was created in a partnership between the SME Education Foundation and Project Lead the Way®, a not-for-profit organization that promotes engineering courses for middle and high school students. The curriculum prepares middle and high school students for engineering coursework offered by Project Lead The Way®.

The sMe Institute, an upper level high school summer program is specialized and linked directly to industry. sMe Institutes draw from Project Lead The Way® high school students and utilizes strong industry involvement.

Says Eric Lanke, CAE, executive director, National Fluid Power Association, "The curriculum we are creating will bring fluid power concepts to a future generation of engineers who will be working in a highly-automated plant environment and will need to be educated on how to run it. Our joint initiative will expand the abilities of both organizations in offering exceptional technical education."

Reinforcing their efforts to offer new educational opportunities to young people, NFPA will bring its Fluid Power Challenge to the Milwaukee School of Engineering on November 14, 2008 - Workshop Day, and December 12, 2008 - Challenge Day. The Fluid Power Challenge is a skills-based competition designed to introduce middle school students to fluid power technology and careers. Find out more about this program.

About the National Fluid Power Association:
The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) is a forum where all fluid power channel partners-manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, customers and educators-work together to advance fluid power technology, strengthen the industry, and foster their success. The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation is a charitable organization that supports educational programs and research in fluid power by actively engaging students at all grade levels, encouraging the development of new teaching resources, supporting research in motion control and fostering ongoing forums between educators and industry. Visit

About the SME Education Foundation:
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation was created by SME in 1979 as a means of transforming manufacturing education in North American colleges and universities. As one of the nation's leading non-profit organizations dedicated to advancing manufacturing education, its approach is to inspire youth to pursue careers in manufacturing; support students studying for a career in an engineering-related field, and prepare these students to participate in a global economy. The Foundation has provided more than $24 million in grants, scholarships and awards. Visit
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