Lockheed Martin Wants ‘Pipeline’ For STEM Students
Lockheed Martin is giving Orange County Public Schools $2 million to foster the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM.
The aerospace and military technology company hopes to develop a pool of skilled workers, to meet a growing need for engineers.
The 3 year grant will help expand STEM teaching across all of Orange County’s 184 public schools, through a non profit called Project Lead The Way.
The announcement was made Thursday at Walker Middle School in front of a room packed with teachers, school board officials and students.
Rick Edwards, Lockheed Martin’s Executive Vice president of Missiles and Fire Control, said the company needs to hire thousands of skilled workers a year- and the need is growing.
“By the time these kids get to high school or college and say ‘I want to get interested in this,’ it’s too late. They won’t have taken the math and science courses, they’ll never catch up,” said Edwards.
“We just need to increase the pipeline, we need to increase the number of American kids who want to go into science or who want to go to engineering school, and we have found this is a great way to do it.”
Edwards said his company is particularly interested in developing a home grown talent pool because employees need to be able to get security clearances.
One of the students watching the announcement was Khalil Simmons:
“I like science because it helps people,” said Simmons.
“I’ve always wanted to help animals- like a dog that was helping in the army that lost his leg, I want to help make a prosthetic leg for him.”
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