Veritas is partnering with Orange Park High School in Orange Park, Florida to offer Project Lead The Way (“PLTW”) to its students. PLTW, a nonprofit organization, has created an exceptional model for providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) instruction, and it is already being taught in 8,000 schools across the country, benefitting nearly 2 million children. This partnership with PLTW, Orange Park High School and the city of Orange Park is a unique opportunity for our company — and for all of us personally — to make a profound impact on our community.
Why Partner With Project Lead the Way?
We all know that our manufacturing workplaces require a unique set of skills. Jobs in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) continue to grow in the United States — it is expected that there will be 1.2 million unfilled STEM jobs by 2018 because our schools are not graduating enough STEM-trained workers to fill them. STEM is where jobs are today and where the opportunities will be tomorrow. It is at the heart of American manufacturing – and thus, at the very heart of what we do here at Veritas and across the Atlas family of companies.
The Atlas Foundation and Atlas companies are partnering with Project Lead The Way to provide “one of a kind” STEM learning experiences for K-12 students and teachers in the communities where Atlas associates live and where our kids go to school. Through courses in computer science, engineering and biomedical science, students learn problem-solving skills, critical and creative thinking and how to communicate and collaborate with one another. The PLTW curriculum inspires students to love the very types of subjects — and pursue the very types of careers — that serve as the backbone of our company.
Therefore, in collaboration with the Atlas Foundation, we’ve decided to become part of the solution – and we will enhance many local minds, and shape many futures, in the process.
You can learn more about PLTW and the specific Program — “Project Engineering” — that we’re making available to Orange Park High School:
What is PLTW? An Overview:
Orange Park High School
Orange Park High School serves approximately 1500 students. During the first year, students will primarily focus on Mechanical Engineering and the properties of design, including studying simple machines, hydraulics and basic structures such as bridges. The funding provided through the PLTW grant will help provide meaningful hands-on experiences to solidify their understanding of engineering fundamentals. For example, a team of students will be given the task of building a chair with specific parameters out of 7 cardboard boxes that must hold one of their team members! During their second and third year students will study civil and architectural engineering which will prepare them to be college and career ready. At the end of the 3 year program students will earn industry certifications in Revit and InVentor which will make them very marketable for the workforce in Northeast Florida.
“School Partnership Team” — How To Get Involved
We have formed a “Veritas School Partnership Team” with Orange Park High School. This team will give you the chance to be personally involved once the school year begins. Those of you in the Orange Park area can donate your time, talent and commitment to Veritas Steel in order to make this Project a success.
Our goal is not simply to make a corporate donation. We want to unleash the very best of Veritas so we not only enhance the education of students but strengthen the school they attend — and the communities we call home.
Partnership Team members may engage in any of the following activities:
- Serve as an advocate for Orange Park High School PLTW program with parents, school board members, school administration, and the community;
- Engage with elected and district-level officials in Orange Park as well as in other Veritas communities about the value of the PLTW program (we are hopeful we can bring PLTW to other Veritas communities in years ahead);
- Connect PLTW students to the community;
- Support PLTW students through mentoring and feedback on their coursework and projects; and
- Participate in classroom activities.
There are many things that make Veritas different — and a really special place to work. I am confident that we will make these important new partnerships with Orange Park High School — and with Project Lead the Way.