Eleven Wichita-area school districts will get a total of $200,000 in grants to support engineering education programs, Wichita State University’s college of engineering said in a statement.
Nine districts will now offer engineering education at the K-5 level in the next school year, the statement said.
The grant money will come from the state’s University Engineering Initiative Act, passed in 2011, and will allow school districts to teach curriculum from Project Lead the Way, a national program. The grant was given to boost the state’s economy by addressing a shortage of engineering graduates, the statement said.
“A critical time in learning math and gaining confidence is between elementary and middle schools – especially for girls,” Lawrence Whitman, associate dean of WSU’s College of Engineering, said. “As engineering makes interesting mathematical and science concepts, students learn that math can be fun and engaging. Maintaining this interest through the K-12 years keeps engineering and science as an option for a career and for further study.”