Providence Career and Technical Academy’s (PCTA) pre-engineering program was presented with the Verizon Innovate Award, a $20,000 grant intended to support the program by bolstering its partnership with the University of Rhode Island, providing students with a broader range of materials, supporting visits to manufacturing sites, and connecting the class with guest speakers.
The PCTA students will explore the process of product realization, learning the steps taken from the first concept of a product to the end stage of taking it to market. Students will use a variety of industry-standard software packages to progress from project planning to product design, to computer-aided manufacturing, to supply chain management, and more. Their projects will be supplemented by a 3D printing of the product, as well as a look at the conventional manufacturing process.
The one-time award is given to schools for projects in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that take an innovative approach to teaching. The grant is focused on three main goals: 1) Engage student in STEM in new, innovative ways; 2) Help teachers more effectively use technology; 3) Create more personalized learning environments to help students succeed.
The $20,000 award was announced on April 2 at PCTA’s pre-engineering classroom, and was attended by Mayor Jorge Elorza, Superintendent Dr. Susan Lusi, Verizon Regional Director of Government Affairs Michele Cinquegrano, PCTA Principal Wobberson Torchon, Director of Career and Technical Education Luke Driver, and PCTA Pre-Engineering teacher Jesus Garcia Galvez.
“The PCTA Pre-Engineering program is a fantastic opportunity for students in Providence, said Mayor Elorza, “and I thank Verizon for their generous support.”
“An innovative approach to these subjects is at the heart of this grant as it will challenge teachers to educate in new and innovative ways, help them to effectively use technology and create more personalized learning environments to help our students succeed,” said Supt. Lusi.
“We cannot do the work of preparing our students for college and careers alone,” she added. “This is exactly the kind of support our district needs to give our students the knowledge and skills required in STEM fields. And, as we well know, some of the best-paying and most secure jobs of the future will require skills in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.”
In presenting the grant to PCTA, Michele Cinquegrano, regional director of government affairs for Verizon, said, “We created this program to support the integration of innovative STEM initiatives in schools across the country, and we are pleased to recognize the schools that have been chosen to receive the award. The proposal submitted by the Providence Career and Technical Academy exemplifies the type of initiatives that will provide exposure to students around STEM fields, and also offers students hands-on project-based learning opportunities that will help increase their interest and achievement in STEM.”
“We are very thankful to Verizon for supporting the pre-engineering program at PCTA,” said pre-engineering educator Garcia Galvez. “With this grant, we will be able to put into practice the rapid prototyping and manufacturing theory studied in class, and apply it to the 3D models that the students already created with their industry certification in Solidworks.”