The SME Education Foundation has named Hawthorne High School of Engineering and Manufacturing (HHSEM), Los Angeles, Calif. an exemplary school for manufacturing education

DEARBORN, Mich., HAWTHORNE, Calif., November 28, 2011 — Hawthorne High School of Engineering and Manufacturing (HHSEM), Los Angeles, Calif., has been named an exemplary school for their innovative pre-engineering program by the SME Education Foundation. The Foundation is taking a community-based approach to manufacturing education and job creation by creating strong partnerships between exemplary schools, businesses and organizations with a new initiative PRIME (Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education) launched in fall 2011.

Hawthorne High School of Engineering and Manufacturing was selected based on its Project Lead The Way (PLTW) technology-based engineering courses of study, which includes Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), having skilled and dedicated instructors, having engaged and active students, having strong corporate and administrative support from the manufacturing community, including members of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and the involvement of SME Los Angeles & Ventura County Chapter #173.

The SME Education Foundation is investing $156,000 in PRIME and funding each of the six exemplary schools $26,000 which includes: $10,000 to update equipment, software, and/or professional development; $1,000 to support their involvement in technology-based competitions tied to organizations such as Skills USA and/or FIRST Robotics; $5,000 toward the introduction of  a Gateway Academy, technology-based summer day camp, and $10,000 to support scholarships for students with provided connections.

PRIME builds on the SME Education Foundation’s $5.2 million investment in STEM-based manufacturing education targeting three critical issues: transforming manufacturing education, changing public perception of manufacturing, and addressing the shortage of manufacturing and technical talent in the United States.

Other PRIME exemplary schools include: Wheeling High School, Wheeling, Ill.; Walker Career Center, Indianapolis, Ind.; Summit Technology Academy, Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Oklahoma City, Okla., and Fairmont High School, Kettering, Ohio.

“We are concerned about the future of young people and their future ability to function in a complex world where technical skills will be critical to their way of life, says Bart A. Aslin, chief executive officer, SME Education Foundation. “Hawthorne has clearly demonstrated their ability to innovate, lead, and mentor with a pre-engineering program we want to see replicated across the country.”

The Hawthorne High School of Engineering and Manufacturing, newly-named this fall, and with a new tagline, “Think, Design, Build,” is modeled after the California Partnership Academy. Today, it is a model for all schools in the Centinela Valley Union High School District. It is a mentor school through El Camino College for PLTW schools in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, Calif., and has been selected as a Case Study for presentation by PLTW to the US Department of Education on the use of curriculum to help turn around low performing schools.

A Centinela Valley Union High School District $98 million bond measure passing in November 2008, to modernize three comprehensive high schools has allowed the school to design a 38,000 square foot Pre-Engineering Facility slated to break ground summer 2012. The new facility will include: sixteen new academic classrooms, three pre-engineering labs, and two industry-standard manufacturing shops, all designed to provide a true engineering school within a school modeled after top university atmospheres.

Lucas Pacheco, coordinator of the School of Engineering, and a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) instructor who teaches Manufacturing and Aerospace Engineering tracks, including Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM), says, “Our students and our school are very excited to participate in this new initiative. We feel that we have been an effective part in the K-16 workforce development pipeline. This just helps us solidify our foundation and helps us effectively reach out to our community. Our goal is to teach our youth and our community that manufacturing is a thriving industry here locally and in the United States.”

A major strength of the new PRIME initiative is the connection it creates between schools, local manufacturers, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and local SME Chapters.

The Hawthorne High School of Engineering and Manufacturing is in the process of creating a new Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Student Chapter. This will be the first Pre-Engineering Program to establish a student chapter with a population of future engineers under the age of 18. The new chapter will provide a visible link to the SME model manufacturing K-16 Workforce Development Pipeline in the Los Angeles region launched in fall 2011. Community workforce development partners include: California State University Long Beach, El Camino College, Northrop Grumman, Small Manufacturers Institute and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Andy Roberts, Center of Excellence Manager for Machining and Fabrication, Northrop Grumman and Chapter Chair of new SME Chapter said, “Our Chapter is looking forward to working with Dr. Newell, their CIM instructor, Lucas Pacheco and others to establish this new student chapter. Finally! It will be the hottest fraternity of aspiring engineers on the planet. We need them to support advanced manufacturing in this country.”

In the summer of 2012, Hawthorne High School of Engineering and Manufacturing will offer a Gateway Academy summer day camp for middle school students, boys and girls on the Hawthorne campus. Students will use leading-edge technologies for hands-on learning projects including robotics, aeronautics, and eco-design, preparing them for pre-engineering curriculum. HSSEM students interact with feeder schools by attending information days and recruitment fairs. In visits to elementary schools, students bring some of their “toys” to share with younger students with the goal of inspiring them to pursue math, science, and technology.

The PRIME initiative also provides access to, created for young people in grades 11-14 with information they need on advanced manufacturing careers, access to companies - regional and local, industry professionals, technologies, and colleges and universities.

About Community Partners:

The Hawthorne High School of Engineering Education and Manufacturing partners include: California State University Long Beach, San Diego State and El Camino College. Industry Partners include: ACE Clearwater, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Boeing Satellite Division; Northrop Grumman Aerospace Division; Northrop Grumman Air Combat Systems; Small Manufacturers Institute; Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME); SME Education Foundation; South Bay Workforce Investment Board, and Walt Disney Imagineering.

About Hawthorne High School of Engineering and Manufacturing:

Established in 2004 on the campus of Hawthorne High School with 34 students. Today the School of Engineering and Manufacturing has 347 students and has a rigorous educational program built on the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum, a nationally recognized leader in engineering curriculum at the high school level. It is a California Partnership Academy through the California Department of Education and is a PLTW Model School (2008-2009), one of 14 schools out of 3,000 nationwide. HHSEM students reflect all walks of life, multiple ethnic and religious backgrounds, and varied levels of educational proficiency. Visit:

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 $31 million since 1980 in grants, scholarships and awards through its partnerships with corporations, organizations, foundations, and individual donors. Visit the SME Education Foundation at Also visit our award-winning website for young people at, and for information on advanced manufacturing careers.

Media Contacts:

Bart A. Aslin, chief executive officer, SME Education Foundation, (313)425-3300,