The A. O.
Smith Foundation has agreed to a second four-year commitment in support of St.
Joan Antida High School’s Girls in Engineering program. Located in downtown
Milwaukee, Wis., St. Joan Antida is the only high school in the city with a
bridge-to-college engineering program for young women.
The A. O.
Smith Foundation has been a long-time supporter of the school’s mission,
initially providing scholarship grants for more than 10 years. In 2012, the Foundation made its initial
contribution in support of the Girls in Engineering Program.
that A. O. Smith has pledged over the next four years will go toward providing
teachers with instructional supplies such as robotics kits, solder kits,
software licenses, and access to the latest technology in the engineering field
that they, in turn, bring into the classroom.
Antida High School has been part of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) program since
2004 and has a hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
based curriculum. The high school
expanded its Girls in Engineering Program in 2009-10 by partnering with the
Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE).
Approximately 99 percent of SJA students are first-generation college
students, and the partnership allowed SJA to use MSOE as a resource to
transition young women into college, and specifically into STEM programs.
In 2015 the
Girls in Engineering Program expanded once again as SJA was authorized as an
International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the IB Career-related
Program in engineering. The IB program allows students to earn an IB
certificate in addition to their SJA diploma and potentially earn pre-college
the U. S. Department of Labor, currently fewer than five percent of American
professionals working in STEM-related fields are women. St. Joan Antida’s goal
is to encourage young women to pursue science-related careers.
director of development and communications, stated that the Girls in
Engineering Program is “ . . . a great reflection of a community coming
together to solve a problem.”
complete four years of engineering classes at St. Joan Antida High School have
a 100 percent success rate of going to secondary education, he pointed out. In 2015, more than 10 percent of SJA’s graduating
class went on to pursue post-secondary degrees in STEM fields at MSOE.
Antida High School hopes to create a more formal resource network for its
students. The vision is to provide
graduates with resources to gain employment, internships and real-life
“A. O. Smith
recognizes the importance of investing in a program to help maintain and grow
its success,” Cencius said.
More than 60 years
ago, St. Joan Antida High School was created to provide educational excellence
and service for young women who live and lead in a multicultural world.