For Immediate Release - September 17, 2008

Patrick-Murray Administration Announces "Real World Design Challenge" Partnership

Massachusetts Partners with U.S. Department of Energy to Educate Engineers of Tomorrow

BOSTON - Wednesday, September 17, 2008 - The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced an innovative partnership to enhance science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in Massachusetts with the goal of training tomorrow's engineers, especially in the aerospace industry.

The "Real World Design Challenge" is a partnership involving the Commonwealth, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Parametric Technology Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Corporation, Business Educational Partnerships Group, Mentor Graphics (formerly Flomerics, Inc.), Education Development Center, MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts NASA Space Grant, and others.

"The Real World Design Challenge will inspire our students and teachers and assist Commonwealth students in learning the skills needed to help our already successful aerospace industry grow," said Lt. Governor Murray, who made the announcement today at the Real World Design Challenge event at the Statehouse

The pilot program will provide Massachusetts teachers and students free access to some of the world's most advanced mechanical engineering and design software as part of a national design competition. The Challenge strengthens professional development for teachers through training and industry collaboration. Mentors from National Laboratories, the FAA, industry and higher education provide support using a web-based global engineering backbone. In this case, aviation industry engineers have defined a challenge currently being addressed in their industry, and teachers and students use the Challenge tools to search for innovative solutions.

"This is a groundbreaking public-private partnership that will enhance a critical component of the 21st Century transportation community- the aviation industry," says Bernard Cohen, Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation.

"As Governor Patrick, Lt. Governor Murray and I focus on education reform, this Challenge provides a timely partnership to strengthen professional development for our educators in the critical areas of science, mathematics, technology, and engineering," says Paul Reville, Massachusetts Secretary of Education.

"The aviation component of this Challenge is particularly appropriate as we encourage innovation among teachers and interest among students to address a looming severe shortage of engineers in the aerospace industry," says FAA Regional Administrator Amy Lind Corbett.

The aerospace industry faces a very significant shortage of engineers. Between 60,000 and 68,000 engineers in the U.S. aerospace industry will retire by 2010 and only half of those will be replaced. With modest growth in the U.S. aerospace industry, there will be a shortage of 40,000 to 85,000 engineers by 2010.

Dr. Ralph Coppola, director, worldwide education, PTC, said that the partnership will help address the growing industry demand for workers in technology, engineering, science and technology.

"The Real World Design Challenge bridges the needs of the industry with the future of education," said Dr. Coppola. "It teaches innovation, creativity and collaboration using the expertise that industry, government and higher education have been perfecting for decades. With this real world approach to learning, we can keep our workforce strong and ensure America's prosperity for the future."

Coppola said that the challenge is making a long term investment in educators. As part of the challenge, each participating teacher receives licenses of industry leading engineering software valued at nearly $1 million to use with their students.

Additional information about the Real World Design Challenge can be found on the U.S. Department of Energy's Real World Design Challenge web site http://www.scied.science.doe.gov/RWDC/index.html, or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Department of Education website http://www.doe.mass.edu/.

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