The collaboration of SME Education Foundation Board members, Ted Peachee and Ashok Agrawal fostered $126,000 in grant funding from Emerson Charitable Trust to support PLTW activities surrounding K-12 pre-college programs and FIRST Robotics.
DEARBORN, MICH., June 11, 2012 The future of manufacturing in the United States depends on the collaborative efforts of business, industry and academia in communities across the country using every means possible to support technology-based education for young people. Emerson Charitable Trust  has provided $126,000 to the SME Education Foundation  supporting grant-funding for St. Louis schools including Project Lead The Way (PLTW ) activities surrounding K-12 pre-college programs, and for St. Louis high schools with sponsorships and registrations for their participation in FIRST Robotics (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).
The grant was made possible through the collaborative efforts of SME Education Foundation Board members, Ted Peachee, an executive with St. Louis-based, Emerson (NYSE.EMR) and Ashok Agrawal, vice president, Academic Affairs, St. Louis Community College-Florissant, St. Louis, Mo. Since 2001, Emerson has grant-funded $864,000 to the SME Education Foundation and played a significant role in furthering manufacturing education for workforce development.
In todays business environment, it is no easy task to solicit funding from corporate America, says Bart A. Aslin, CEO, SME Education Foundation. Ted Peachee and Ashok Agrawal considered the pros and cons of their collaboration and how our youth-based programs for advanced manufacturing aligned with the goals of Emerson and the St. Louis community. This is a perfect example of how we think business and educators need to work together to spur manufacturing education, inspire young people, and assure measureable long-term economic growth.
Emerson believes in the importance of supporting organizations and institutions that play significant roles in enhancing quality of life in communities where their facilities are located and where their employees live and work. In St. Louis, annual events and activities are supported by the Emerson Center for Engineering and Manufacturing led by Ashok Agrawal.
Patrick J. Sly, executive vice president for Emerson says, Our programs provide young people with an opportunity to hone their natural talents and prepare for careers in a global community. It is important they be well-prepared with a technical education.
The new grant allowed the SME Education Foundation to fund $66,000 to Missouri University of Science & Technology , Rolla, Mo. for support of Project Lead The Way activities offering K-12 pre-college programs.
Funding was also directed to local St. Louis high schools for registration fees and sponsorships related to FIRST Robotics which engages and inspires young people to be science and technology leaders. Funded schools include:
Bishop Dubourg High School, St. Louis, Mo., ($2,500), Hazelwood High School, Florissant, Mo., ($4,000); Chafee High School, Chafee, Mo., ($5,000); Ferguson-Florissant High School, Florissant, Mo. ($7,500), and Gateway Institute of Technology - St. Louis Public Schools, St. Louis, Mo. ($10,000).
Ted Peachee is the Technology Business Leader for Commercial Industrial Solutions Group of Emerson and serves as a board member of the School of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board at Washington University, the Missouri University of Science & Technology Deans Advisory Council, and is a member of the Academy of Mechanical Engineers (AME).
Ashok Agrawal, director of the Emerson Center, actively engages with St. Louis Community Colleges Workforce and Community Development, St. Louis County Economic Council, and the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA). He serves on the planning team of the St. Louis Regions FIRST Robotics Competition and on the advisory committee of the St. Louis Science Center. Agrawal and his colleagues led the effort to establish a St. Louis Regional Engineering Academy for St. Louis area schools, which included the implementation of Project Lead The Way engineering curriculum.
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