May 30, 2019
CARSON CITY, Nev. – As part of its commitment to contribute $37.5 million over five years to K-12 education in Nevada, Tesla recently announced $250,000 in grant funding to provide Project Lead The Way (PLTW) programs at up to 20 middle schools, in partnership with the Nevada Department of Education.
The announcement was made to over 130 teachers at the first annual Robotics Academy of Nevada, being held this week at UNLV. These grants will increase access to hands-on learning experiences statewide through PLTW Gateway’s Automation and Robotics unit for hundreds of middle school students in the 2019-20 school year. This program supports the career and technical education middle school Skilled and Technical Sciences Standards, specifically the middle school Building Engineers course.
PLTW is a national nonprofit organization that provides transformative learning experiences for PreK-12 students and teachers through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science and professional development.
“Academic programs such as PLTW have the power to expose students to college and career pathways, providing them with the transferrable skills that they need for success in high school and beyond,” said Jhone Ebert, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Hands-on, experiential learning adds applicable relevancy to students’ learning experiences, and the earlier that we can do that, the farther students will go by connecting them to real-world experiences.”
Nevada middle schools can apply for support of new Automation and Robotics units through PLTW’s School Grant Program by June 30, and Tesla is working with the Department of Education to provide over 50% of this grant to Nevada’s smaller school districts in support of developing additional infrastructure for automation and robotics across the entire state.
“Providing students with access to engaging and hands-on career learning at an early age is absolutely critical to the economic vitality of our communities and our nation,” said PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Vince Bertram. “PLTW is proud to partner with Tesla and the Nevada Department of Education to expand access to these opportunities to students and teachers.”
Automation and Robotics is one of 10 units offered in the PLTW Gateway program for students in grades 6-8. In this unit, students trace the history, development, and influence of automation and robotics as they learn about mechanical systems, energy transfer, machine automation, and computer control systems.