Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC (Ashley) has launched a multi-state K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning initiative to expose thousands of students to technical trades and the associated career opportunities with hands-on classroom projects.

Ashley, in partnership with curriculum developer, The STEM Academy (STEM 101), has developed a unique set of courses and learning units that include hands-on kits and online curriculum that cover topics such as electrical circuits, air rockets, building systems, speaker systems, simple construction, engineering and more.

Initial funding of more than $850,000 from Ashley and the Ronald and Joyce Wanek Foundation will sponsor the program for local schools to use as summer camps or classroom activities during the school year for 2,500 students in states in which the company has advanced manufacturing operations, including Mississippi and Wisconsin.

Educators implementing the project in the classroom will be provided one-on-one professional development and group training sessions to ensure successful implementation of the curriculum in the classroom.

“Ashley has a strong belief in improving the quality of our nation’s future skilled workforce,” said Ron Wanek, Founder and Chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries. “STEM 101 offers a unique hands-on learning experience that supports STEM instruction within schools while educating students about career opportunities.”

New Albany Middle School is one of the Mississippi schools to be a proud partner with Ashley for the STEM 101 project.  NAMS received STEM kits valued at $4,785 and will soon receive training and support for teachers and students.

int“We appreciate our partnership with and generous support from Ashley,” said Paul Henry, Principal of New Albany Middle School.  “We are looking forward to working with Ashley and STEM 101 to create exciting hands-on, project-based learning experiences for all of our students.”