CHS secures $35,000 for pre-engineering program

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CALERA – More than 200 Alabama businesses, industry and local government partners are rallying their support of Calera High School, and its innovative approach to manufacturing education.

The STEM pre-engineering program designed by teacher Brian Copes has secured Calera High School exemplary school status and funding from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation through its Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education program, one of nine schools in eight states receiving the designation.

The Calera High School pre-engineering program has Copes’ students involved in projects ranging from building basic utility vehicles, prosthetics and a hydro-electric plant inspired by their trip to a Honduran village last summer, to redesigning and customizing a fuel-efficient hybrid car, which is introducing them to a green energy program.

The PRIME designation for Calera High School comes with a three-year commitment by the SME Education Foundation to provide assistance in creating and fostering strong partnerships with the local manufacturing base to provide job shadows, mentoring and internships. In addition, PRIME schools receive funds totaling $35,000 for three years to support equipment upgrades, continuing education for instructors and a STEM-based camp for middle-school students. The SME Education Foundation Scholarship Program provides students with access to scholarship funding.

“Brian Copes has built an infrastructure of more than 200 industry partners anxious and willing to support them on multiple projects, not just one,“ Bart A. Aslin, CEO of SME Education Foundation, wrote in a press release. “Calera High School is fairly new, only six years old, and its students are inspired and totally involved and excited about working in pre-engineering classes that are motivating their future learning and capturing the support of business, industry, educators and state government. We’re proud to include them in our PRIME program.”