East Lake High School’s Academy of Engineering has been named one of the top engineering programs in the nation.
This fall, the Tarpon Springs school will become a Partnership Response in Manufacturing Education, or PRIME, career academy — one of 15 in the nation and the only one in Florida deemed an exemplary program by the nonprofit Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation.
The school will receive $35,000 in funding from the foundation over the next three school years — $15,000 next school year and $10,000 for each of the following two. The money will allow the school to spend $10,000 updating equipment and $5,000 on the Gateway Academy summer camp, which teaches students science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, skills.
PRIME schools also receive additional help from the foundation to offer professional development for staff, provide scholarship opportunities for students, establish partnerships with local manufacturing companies for mentorships and other opportunities for students, and access training seminars and resources.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation has invested $7 million in youth programs over its 30-year history to help prepare students to enter the workforce in STEM-related fields, according to its website.