The SME Education Foundation has provided funding to LEED (Linking Education and Economic Development) for five Gateway Academy summer camps being held in the Sacramento Region thanks to a $20,000 gift from the Intel Foundation.
DEARBORN Mich., SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 21, 2011 — This summer might be the defining year for 6th through 8th grade students – boys and girls, who are being introduced to a new kind of summer camp experience, the LEED  (Linking Education and Economic Development) thanks to a $20,000 gift from the Intel Foundation .
"The demand for skilled workers has companies pursuing exceptional high school students in their freshman year for potential internships rather than having to compete for them with other companies in their senior year, " says Bart A. Aslin, chief executive officer, SME Education Foundation . "The big question though is, "are they finding adequate numbers of young people who are fully engaged in STEM education to qualify for consideration? The answer is no. And that is why collaborative efforts with LEED and the Intel Foundation are so important."
Gateway Academy summer camps being held in the Sacramento region include: Eastside Campus of Westside Preparatory Charter (Twin Rivers) on June 6th ? June 10th; Washington Unified School District on June 13th ? June 17th; Galt High School on June 20th ? 24th; California Aerospace Museum on August 1st ? 5th, and Folsom Cordova USD on August 3 ? August 5th.
The Gateway Academy is the fastest growing formal and rigorous education program in the country and offers a hands-on, real-world curriculum designed by Project Lead The Way (PLTW). The Gateway Academy summer camp introduces 6th through 8th grade students to drafting and graphic design, allows them to use real lab equipment in a team environment, build robotic vehicles and gliders and learn about eco-design, manufacturing and alternative energy while having fun doing it. In 2010, nearly 4,200 students attended the Gateway Academy in 34 states. A STEM-based curriculum is core to SME Education Foundation funded programs. It has worked with Project Lead The Way since 2006.
LEED manages the Capital region Project Lead The Way Network, comprised of 12 Capital Region middle and high schools in eight school districts. The Capital Region PLTW Network is comprised of Capital businesses, PLTW teachers and school district administrators.
In a YouTube video posted on the White House "Educate to Innovate" web page, Craig Barrett , Intel chairman and CEO (ret.) says, "The basic premise behind STEM education is really solving problems. In fact, there is an interesting statistic on the most common educational background of Fortune 500 CEOs in the United States ? it's not business, not law, it is engineering!"
The PLTW middle and high school STEM education programs are highly regarded and recognized for developing motivated, well-rounded students by instilling confidence, stressing the importance of self-discovery, encouraging problem solving and critical thinking; teaching team building, and rewarding creativity. Building on their summer camp experience technology experience, students are introduced to the Gateway to Technology program which introduces them to advanced manufacturing processes.
Students develop skills essential for achievement in the classroom and success in college and at work. They also achieve significantly higher scores in reading, mathematics, and science. Graduates earn higher GPAs as college freshmen, and are 5 to 10 times more likely to study engineering and technology.
At a June 8 White House press conference, "Building Partnerships to Build the Manufacturing Workforce ," President Obama announced several new commitments by the private sector, colleges and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) to make partnerships among major companies and community colleges a reality. Through these efforts, they will make it possible for 500,000 community college students to get industry-accepted credentials for manufacturing jobs that companies across America are looking to fill. The collaborative efforts of the SME Education Foundation, the Intel Foundation, PLTW and LEED are directing young people to STEM-based education programs such as the Gateway Academy. These efforts will have to be magnified many times over to meet industry demand.
About the Intel Foundation:
Founded in 1989, the Intel Foundation is a philanthropic organization focused on programs that advance education and improve communities worldwide. By providing funding for national and localized grants, the foundation helps fuel innovation in classrooms, empower women and underserved youth, and enables Intel employees to serve the needs of their communities. The goals of the Intel Foundation are to increase interest in math and science education, and to help develop a future workforce that represents the diversity around the world. Visit www.intel.com 
About LEED (Linking Education and Economic Development):
LEED works to strengthen the economy of the six-county Sacramento region by linking the leaders of key industries and educational resources to strive for alignment to meet current and forecasted regional workforce needs. In its 19th year, LEED is the Capital Region's premier employer/education partnership and an affiliate of the Sacramento Metro Chamber. LEED is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of employer, educator and civic leaders from the six-county Sacramento region. Visit www.leed.org 
About Project Lead The Way:
Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national 5013c, not-for-profit educational program, 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 www.pltw.org 
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. For more information, visit the SME Education Foundation at www.smeef.org . Also visit www.CareerMe.org  for information on advanced manufacturing careers and, our award-winning website for young people, www.ManufacturingisCool.com .
SME Education Foundation, 313.425.3300, email@example.com ;
Linda Christopher, director of educational development, LEED (Linking Education and Economic Development 916.552.6802, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.leed.org , and the California Space Academy 916.286.5129.
Questions or comments may be also be directed to the SME Education Foundation by phone 313.425.3300, or email at email@example.com  Note to Editors: jpeg photos available upon request.