February 22, 2018

Mayor Emanuel and CPS Announce Expansion of Engineering Futures Program

James Dyson Foundation will expand programming by offering internships to participating students

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today joined CPS and local leaders at Amundsen High School for ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’ and to announce the expansion of Engineering Futures. The program, which launched in 2015, will expand to include ten new partnerships between high schools and local engineering companies. Dyson, an industry leader with pre-engineering programs at CPS, will also announce plans to offer internships to students at its affiliate schools.

“Engineering skills are not just critical today’s economy, this education provides another outlet for students to expand their horizons and explore their creativity,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These unique partnerships forged through Engineering Futures provide our students with an incredible opportunity to develop the skillsets needed to compete and win in the 21st century.”

Engineering Futures was initially launched in 2015 at seven CPS high schools with industry leaders Dyson, Siemens & Accurate Engineering, Thornton Tomasetti, HNTB and Paschen. The ten additional companies that will forge partnerships and develop pre-engineering programs at area high schools in SY2019 include:

  • Alcott College Prep – JGMA Architects
  • Austin College & Career Academy – GMA Construction
  • Curie Metropolitan High School – Turner Construction
  • Foreman High School – Sodexo
  • Lindblom Math & Science Academy – EXP
  • Mather High School – Landrum & Brown
  • North-Grand High School – Jacobs
  • Northside College Prep – RTM Engineering
  • Phoenix Military Academy – AECOM Tishman
  • Schurz High School – WSP

The Engineering Futures program, which now includes partnerships at 17 CPS high schools, builds on CPS’ robust pre-engineering programs across the district. Each corporate partner will be closely involved with both principals and CPS leadership in the development of engineering curriculum mapped to real, viable jobs, and informed by current and future industry standards. Students will focus on both hard and soft engineering skills needed to succeed in related fields, including technical and problem-solving skills that will increase preparedness for college success.

“Thanks to the dedication of our teachers and school leaders, and the generosity of our partners, Engineering Futures is helping reveal the inner scientist, technologist, mathematician, and engineer in all of our students," said CPS CEO Dr. Janice K. Jackson. "Chicago continues to the set the national standard for STEM education and Engineering Futures creates a platform where students can explore new ideas and demystify the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”

Under the leadership of Mayor Emanuel, CPS and former Chicago Board Of Education President Gery Chico, the unique school-wide engineering partnerships help thousands of students access a curriculum and training that develops necessary skills relevant to engineering careers, preparing them for success in the 21st century. The partnerships provide students with the opportunity to hone the competitive advantage necessary to compete in a global, technology-driven economy, and to build the skillsets that will help them attain the jobs of the future.

“This program between Chicago companies, the Mayor and CPS exposes our students to real engineering experiences. Like most of us who started our careers by getting a chance to work in real companies, these students will be motivated to pursue careers in engineering and other building and construction fields- making their lives better and our families and communities stronger,” said Gery Chico, former board President of the Chicago Public Schools and former Chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education.

The expansion builds on the significant efforts and investments that companies like Dyson make to encourage the next generation of engineers. The James Dyson Foundation announced today an internship program for CPS students at Amundsen High School, Disney II High School and Hancock College Prep that will give them a glimpse into the exciting world of engineering at Dyson. The James Dyson Foundation believes that when engineering firms partner with schools student gain experiences reflective of industry practice. Companies like Dyson play a significant role in creating the future by investing in ideas and the development of technology. Teachers must be informed of this ever-changing technology landscape to prepare their students for the real world.

“Students should learn through adventure — they should use their head and their hands to explore the world around them and to understand how engineering can be used to solve 21st century challenges. We are proud to partner with Chicago Public Schools to inspire the next generation of engineers,” said Jenna Blanton, Managing Director of the James Dyson Foundation.

In addition to supporting ‘Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day’ with elementary school students, the company built and implemented three maker labs through the Design Thinkers Grant. The James Dyson Foundation provided 9 CPS elementary schools with year-round access to curriculum resources, after-school programs, Dyson mentors, teacher training, and supporting funds – all designed foster a pipeline of students with exposure to design and engineering. The James Dyson Foundation has provided more than 2,000 pieces of hardware, tools, accessories and consumables and, by the end of this school year, will have delivered more than 90 hours of professional development and continued training for 26 teachers. In addition to curricular support, Dyson engineers and employees help lead hands-on activities to help get students thinking like engineers.

Mayor Emanuel and CPS continue to support student advancements by making and supporting significant investments to improve education. The expansion of pre-engineering programs support the Learn.Plan.Succeed. initiative and builds on Mayor Emanuel’s major investment in postsecondary preparation—including his goal that 50 percent of CPS students will graduate with at least one college or career credential by 2019. CPS is developing curriculum and sequencing for schools to adopt, expanding academic enrichment opportunities, like chess and debate, providing professional development opportunities and leveraging partnerships to continue to implement evidence-based policies to put our students on the path to success.