Veritas is partnering with Orange Park High School in Orange Park, Florida to offer Project Lead The Way (“PLTW”) to its students. PLTW, a nonprofit organization, has created an exceptional model for providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) instruction and it is already being taught in 8,000 schools across the country, benefitting nearly 2 million children. This partnership with PLTW, Orange Park High School and the city of Orange Park is a unique opportunity for our company -- and for all of us personally -- to make a profound impact on our community.
Why Partner With Project Lead the Way?
We all know that our manufacturing workplaces require a unique set of skills. Jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) continue to grow in the United States -- it is expected that there will be 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs by 2018 because our schools are not graduating enough STEM-trained workers to fill them. STEM is where jobs are today and where the opportunities will be tomorrow. It is at the heart of American manufacturing – and thus, at the very heart of what we do here at Veritas and across the Atlas family of companies.
The Atlas Foundation and Atlas companies are partnering with Project Lead The Way to provide “one of a kind” STEM learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers in the communities where Atlas associates live and where our kids go to school. Through courses in computer science, engineering and biomedical science, students learn problem-solving skills, critical and creative thinking and how to communicate and collaborate with one another. The PLTW curriculum inspires students to love the very types of subjects --- and pursue the very types of careers -- that serve as the backbone of our company.
Therefore, in collaboration with the Atlas Foundation, we’ve decided to become part of the solution – and we will enhance many local minds, and shape many futures, in the process.
You can learn more about PLTW and the specific Program -- “Project Engineering” -- that we’re making available to Orange Park High School:
What is PLTW? An Overview
Orange Park High School
Orange Park High School serves approximately 1500 students. 63 incoming freshmen have requested the Introduction to Engineering course for 2016-17 school year. In this beginning class students will primarily focus on Mechanical Engineering and the properties of design, including studying simple machines, hydraulics and basic structures such as bridges. The funding provided through the PLTW grant will help provide meaningful hands-on experiences to solidify their understanding of engineering fundamentals. For example, a team of students will be given the task of building a chair with specific parameters out of 7 cardboard boxes that must hold one of their team members! During their second and third year students will study civil and architectural engineering which will prepare them to be college and career ready. At the end of the 3 year program students will earn industry certifications in Revit and InVentor which will make them very marketable for the workforce in Northeast Florida.
How You Can Help
The cost necessary to fully implement Project Lead The Way at Orange Park High School beginning this Fall is $35,000. These funds will provide the school (i) access to all PLTW course materials, (ii) training for teachers in the PLTW STEM curriculum (teachers are required to successfully complete training prior to instructing a PLTW course) and (iii) computers and other supplies.
Veritas has already committed to fund 50% of the total, or $17,500. We need your help to close the gap and raise the remaining $17,500. No amount of support is too small; we are hoping that everyone at Veritas will become a part of this effort.
There are two ways you can donate to this effort:
The first is by visiting https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ereg/newreg.php?eventid=173228&. There you will find a drop down menu that allows you to indicate the company within the Atlas family for which you work. Please check “Veritas” so that your contribution can help us reach our goal!
Another way to support this partnership is by sending a check to:
Project Lead The Way
3939 Priority Way South Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46240
*Please note “Veritas Steel / PLTW Partnership” on your check
“School Partnership Team” -- How To Get Involved
While securing the necessary financial support is our immediate priority, I want you to know there is much more to this unique Partnership than just dollars.
In the days ahead, we will be forming a “Veritas School Partnership Team” with Orange Park High School. This team will give you the chance to be personally involved once the school year begins. Those of you in the Orange Park area can donate your time, talent and commitment to Veritas Steel in order to make this Project a success.
Our goal is not simply to make a corporate donation. We want to unleash the very best of Veritas so we not only enhance the education of students but strengthen the school they attend -- and the communities we call home.
There will be more information to come in the days ahead but Partnership Team members may engage in any of the following activities:
- Serve as an advocate for Orange Park High School PLTW program with parents, school board members, school administration, and the community;
- Engage with elected and district-level officials in Orange Park as well as in other Veritas communities about the value of the PLTW program (we are hopeful we can bring PLTW to other Veritas communities in years ahead);
- Connect PLTW students to the community;
- Support PLTW students through mentoring and feedback on their coursework and projects; and
- Participate in classroom activities.
There are many things that make Veritas different -- and a really special place to work. I am confident that we will make these important new partnerships with Orange Park High School -- and with Project Lead the Way.