Wichita State awards $200,000 to fund K-12 engineering classes

Wichita State University (KSN File Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita State University’s College of Engineering is awarding $200,000 in grants to 11 area school districts to support engineering education programs at the K-12 level.

It will allow nine districts, including Wichita Public Schools, to offer engineering curriculum at the K-5 level for the first time during the 2014-15 school year.

School districts receiving grants for the 2014-15 year include Wichita Public Schools, the Wichita Catholic Diocese and the Circle, Derby, Goddard, Hillsboro, Hutchinson, Kingman-Norwich, Newton, Remington and Valley Center school districts.

Grant money provided by the state through the University Engineering Initiative Act, passed in 2011, will be used by the WSU College of Engineering to allow school districts to teach curriculum from Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a national program that has expanded the number of schools offering engineering courses from seven in 2007-08 to 88 in 2013-14.

The grant was part of an effort to boost the state’s economy by addressing a shortage of engineering graduates.

Since 2008, the College of Engineering has provided more than $2.2 million in funds to support engineering education programs in local school districts.

Grant money distributed by the College of Engineering was previously funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Knight Foundation.

This is the second year that state money has funded PLTW programs.

To learn more about PLTW and other K-12 outreach initiatives of the WSU College of Engineering, visit www.wichita.edu/engineeringK12outreach.

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