Workforce Development

Developing Future Engineers through STEM

25 February 2016 | Team EACPDS


EAC Product Development Solutions (EAC) is proud supporter of STEM education and fostering the development of future engineers. This is why we are excited to announce a partnership with the Lakeville South High School (LSHS) STEM Academy.

EAC Partners with Lakeville South High School's STEM Academy

The STEM Academy at Lakeville South High School began as a pilot program during the 2013-14 school year. At the time, it had two sections of Engineering Your Future 1. Today it has six sections of Engineering Your Future 1, four sections of Engineering Your Future 2, and one section of Engineering Your Future 3. The demand for these courses has risen significantly in such a short amount of time. Furthermore, 50 of the 200 students in the STEM Academy are young women.

The goal of the STEM Academy is to prepare students for STEM careers, whether they head straight into the workforce, enroll in a technical college, or pursue a four-year college degree. Lakeville Area Public Schools have recognized the ncreased demand for STEM careers, in turn increasing the demand for STEM classes. STEM jobs are growing faster than jobs overall in Minnesota, more than twice as fast as all industries in Minnesota according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

EAC offers many products and services to help companies improve the way they design, manufacture, connect to, and service their products. One of the ways we do this is through the sale of the product development software toolsets created by PTC and ANSYS. EAC has pledged to donate 1% of all engineering software and support sold in MN to the LSHS. We will also make an equipment donation to the STEM Academy valued over $20,000. The school will receive a Bridgeport CNC Mill and a 3D Systems Printer.

EAC’s donation will supplement funds for supplies and equipment coming in 2016-17 that voters approved in their levy referendum in November of 2015. This includes programming at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels.

“The pieces of equipment are instrumental to state-of-the-art STEM education. Given the expense, such purchase might not be possible without the generosity of partners such as EAC,” said Justin Just, STEM teacher at Lakeville South High School.

Jacob Stewart, Senior at Lakeville South High School said throughout his four years in the STEM Academy the biggest things he has learned were “being able to work in groups and [thinking] outside the box. There’s no one right way [to solve a problem]. Failing is a big part of improving and learning.”

Stewart plans on studying engineering next fall at Iowa State University. The opportunity of working with and learning from state-of-the-art equipment may have given Stewart and his classmates a competitive advantage over their peers.

Another LSHS Senior, Will Duncan said the experience of building 3D printers has opened up future career possibilities that he might not have considered. “My dream job is to make prosthetics for people who don’t have the technology or resources to make limbs. 3D printing or other efficient technology could make that a possibility.”

In an effort to expand the awareness and success of this program EAC also plans to create a mechanism for their customers to donate additional funds and support to the program by “opting in” when placing an order.

“I want to be intentional in our efforts to support local students and schools. Some people say STEM is big right now. I say it is big for our future. Today’s students are doing amazing things. They have amazing ideas. And the staff at LSHS is doing a fantastic job preparing these students to impact the engineering and product development world. I’m proud of this program. Not only does it support a great school and great students; it also reflects EAC’s dedication to its customers. Not only do we want to provide great product development technology and services. We also want to make sure that local companies will be able to recruit talented individuals in the near future and for years to come,” said Thane Hathaway, President & CEO, EAC Product Development Solutions

Program Details:

  • This is a new program EAC is launching in MN
  • EAC pledges to donate 1% of Engineering Software and Support sold in MN during 2016
    • Minimum 2016 cash donation of $5000
  • $20,000 hardware donation
    • Bridgeport CNC Mill
    • 3DSystems Printer
  • In addition to a minimum cash donation and percentage of sales, EAC will provide a mechanism for customers to donate directly by “opting in” when placing an order.

Learn more about Lakeville South High School’s STEM Academy here.