The SME Education Foundation and Project Lead the Way developed Gateway Academy, a project based experience designed to introduce middle school students to the fundamentals of science, technology, engineering and math. This hands-on program is based on PLTW's successful Gateway To Technology pre-engineering. At each Gateway Academy, instructors certified to teach PLTW courses will provide expert instruction in small-group settings. During the week, campers will work together in a fun, exciting environment using leading-edge technologies to sample such disciplines as robotics, aeronautics and computer design. Gateway Academy gives secondary school students a jumpstart on successful high school and college experiences. By exploring pre-engineering courses in middle school, students are prepared for the academic rigor that lies ahead in high school and beyond. Gateway Academy graduates are better equipped to make informed choices about what classes to take in high school, where to go to college and what professional path to pursue.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Education Foundation advances manufacturing education through youth programs and scholarships. Science, Technology, & Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) Academy, now Gateway Academy, was created in an effort to fill the pipeline with skilled manufacturing workers. Through 2007 nearly $2.2 million has been invested to inspire more than 6,000 young people to explore technical careers.