BOSTON /Massachusetts Newswire/ — The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced the 2009 “Real World Design Challenge,” an innovative partnership to enhance science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education in Massachusetts with the goal of training tomorrow’s engineers, especially in the aerospace industry.
At an event held at the State House, Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray announced the second year for the “Real World Design Challenge,” a partnership involving the Commonwealth, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Parametric Technology Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Corporation, Business Educational Partnerships Group, Mentor Graphics (formerly Flomerics, Inc.), Education Development Center, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts NASA Space Grant, and others.
“The Real World Design Challenge inspires both our teachers and our students,” said Lt. Governor Murray, chair of the recently created Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Advisory Council. “This program is a great example of how we can promote STEM education through hands on application to help our students develop into the leaders who will drive our economy and continue to help Massachusetts prosper.”
The program provides Massachusetts teachers and students free access to some of the world’s most advanced mechanical engineering and design software as part of a national design competition. The Challenge strengthens professional development for teachers through training and industry collaboration. Mentors from National Laboratories, the FAA, industry and higher education provide support using a web-based global engineering backbone. In this case, aviation industry engineers have defined a challenge currently being addressed in their industry, and teachers and students use the Challenge tools to search for innovative solutions.
“This is precisely the kind of high quality, engaging educational experience that make science and math come to life for our students,” said Education Secretary Paul Reville. “The Real World Design Challenge provides a great opportunity for students to witness firsthand how today’s classroom lessons can turn into tomorrow’s task at work.”
“This outstanding public-private partnership focuses interest among some of our brightest students on a key component of our transportation community- the aviation industry,” said Transportation Secretary James Aloisi, Jr.
The aerospace industry faces a very significant shortage of engineers. Between 60,000 and 68,000 engineers in the U.S. aerospace industry will retire by 2010 and only half of those will be replaced. With modest growt h in the U.S. aerospace industry, there will be a shortage of 40,000 to 85,000 engineers by 2010.
During the first year of the Design Challenge in Massachusetts, seven high schools participated. Of the seven schools, Newburyport High School took first place in the state and 2nd place in the national challenge competition.
As part of the challenge, each participating teacher receives licenses of industry leading engineering software valued at nearly $1 million to use with their students.
The Patrick-Murray Administration has made STEM education a priority, recognizing that it is important to our students and the state’s ability to provide a highly-skilled workforce to the innovative companies that are located and grow in Massachusetts. Last week, Governor Patrick joined Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray and other elected officials and community leaders to sign an executive order establishing the Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Advisory Council. The new council will serve as a central advisory body, bringing together public and private sector stakeholders involved with STEM planning and programming, with the goal of increasing student interest in, and preparation for, careers in STEM.
Additional information about the Real World Design Challenge can be found on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Real World Design Challenge Web site: http://www.scied.science.doe.gov/RWDC/index.html. Information is also available at
www.Mass.gov/education and http://www.doe.mass.edu/
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