SME Video demonstrates high school engineering initiative.

Press Release Summary:

SME Education Foundation celebrated National Engineers Week, February 15-21, by distributing video titled "Innovate: All Systems Go." Presented in MTV-style format, video features students from high school in New Britain, CT, who build solar car and visit Johnson Space Center where NASA team answers their questions and explains why they love what they do. Solar car is on display near high school football field and students can answer questions and serve as mentors to peers and community members.

Original Press Release:

Rendezvous at NASA - Advanced Engineering for Kids

The SME Education Foundation celebrates National Engineers Week - Feb. 15-21 with distribution of their new video, "Innovate: All Systems Go," featuring high school students building their own solar car and visiting the Johnson Space Center.

DEARBORN, Mich. - In continuing its mission to introduce young people to exciting careers in science, technology and engineering, the SME Education Foundation is supporting the celebration of National Engineers Week - February 15-21 with the production and distribution of a new video, "Innovate: All Systems Go." The video is being distributed to school boards through the National School Boards Association and to 1,150 Project Lead The Way middle school instructors.

"Innovate: All Systems Go" documents the learning experiences of a diverse group of high school students from New Britain High School, New Britain, Conn. After rising to the challenges of building their own solar car, the students are invited to NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, where they meet a team of scientists and engineers for an educational rendezvous some kids only dream about.

Major funding for the production of the video has been provided by State Farm, Microsoft Research, and the SME Education Foundation. Additional funding has been provided by Rockwell Automation, NetApp, and Verizon. The video is a production of Creative Expansions, Inc. Helene Lerner is Executive Producer -

The creative approach for "Innovate: All Systems Go!" presents content and visuals in a familiar and entertaining MTV-type format which appeals to students. In addition to learning how to apply engineering basics in the building of their own solar car, the students are also given access to on-the-job technical experts. The NASA team is there to answer questions and explain why they love what they do.

Says Bart A. Aslin, director, SME Education Foundation, "The video was produced to show young people that science, technology, engineering and math careers are fun, offering lots of different opportunities in a variety of industries. These careers make the world a better place and improve our quality of life."

While their solar car is on display at a community event near the high school football field, the students answer questions and serve as mentors to other students and members of the community. Later, they invite an excited little boy to sit in their solar car and ask if he thinks he would like to build a solar car some day. Seeing the joy of the little boy sitting behind the wheel of the solar car lets students know they've inspired a future engineer.

About Project Lead The Way (PLTW):

Project Lead The Way is a national 501c3, not-for-profit educational program that prepares middle and high school students to be the most innovative and productive leaders in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Through an engaging, hands-on curriculum, PLTW encourages the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning, and a love of learning. Visit:

About Gateway Academy:

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. In 2009, the SME Education Foundation held 237 Gateway Academies and reached over 4,800 students in 28 states. Their goal is to increase to 300 Gateway Academies in 2010.

The Gateway Academy offers a weeklong, 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 alternative energy, eco-design, robotics, manufacturing and aerodynamics, in a hands-on, project-based environment. The curriculum prepares middle and high school students for engineering coursework offered by Project Lead The Way.

About the SME Education Foundation:

The SME Education Foundation is committed to inspiring, supporting and preparing the next generation of manufacturing engineers and technologists in the advancement of manufacturing education. Created by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in 1979, the SME Education Foundation has provided more than $29 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at and award-winning website,

If you have any questions or comments, please contact SME Public Relations by phone (313) 271-1500, e-mail, or Fax: (313) 425-3403.


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