Astellas USA Foundation Commits $1 Million to Help Project Lead The Way Expand STEM Education for Rural Illinois Students and Teachers

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 14, 2016 - As part of its Science WoRx™ STEM education platform, Astellas USA Foundation announced a $1 million grant to Project Lead The Way (PLTW), a national nonprofit organization that provides transformative educational experiences for K-12 students and teachers. The grant will provide PLTW’s computer science, engineering and biomedical science programs to middle schools and high schools in rural Illinois beginning with the 2017-18 school year.

The grant is part of Astellas USA Foundation’s new Rural Spark ProjectTM, which seeks to change STEM education in targeted rural areas for middle and high school students by supporting teacher training and exciting hands-on learning opportunities in the classroom and the community.

"STEM programming is vital for all our schools, but districts in rural America, especially, struggle to attract and retain vital STEM teachers to lead science education", said Moyra Knight, president, Astellas USA Foundation. "Creating programs that will inspire future scientists, support teachers and elevate college prospects for students is imperative to sustaining the economic wellbeing of rural communities."

Through PLTW's programs in computer science, engineering and biomedical science, students will engage in hands-on, real-world learning opportunities that empower them to develop essential, in-demand knowledge and skills, while also providing an invaluable connection between what they learn in the classroom and how it applies to the paths they'll take in the future.

"Project Lead The Way is proud to partner with the Astellas USA Foundation to ensure that students and teachers in Illinois’ rural communities have equal access to high-quality STEM education as their urban and suburban peers," said PLTW President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Vince Bertram. "All students, regardless of race, gender, geography and socio-economic status, need a strong foundation in science and technology. With Astellas USA Foundation’s support, we will help ensure that all students have the in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive in our rapidly evolving world."

Middle schools and high schools located in Illinois Congressional Districts 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17 can find eligibility guidelines and the grant application here.

About Astellas USA Foundation
Astellas USA Foundation is a tax-exempt, nonprofit corporate foundation that awards grants to support charitable, scientific, literary and educational programs. Learn more at www.astellasusafoundation.org. You can also follow us on Twitter at @AstellasFDN or Facebook at www.facebook.com/AstellasFoundation.

Project Lead The Way (PLTW)
Project Lead The Way is a nonprofit organization that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. PLTW empowers students to develop in-demand, transportable knowledge and skills through pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science. PLTW’s teacher training and resources support teachers as they engage their students in real-world learning. More than 9,000 elementary, middle, and high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia offer PLTW programs. For more information on Project Lead The Way, visit pltw.org.