By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The math departments at Chase Elementary and Aiken High School received a half-million-dollar boost Monday.
The money, a grant from the General Electric Fund, will allow the two schools to partner with Ohio State University's College of Engineering to help strengthen students' math skills.
"I think this is good," said Dominique Coleman, a 17-year-old senior who wants to be a prenatal nurse. "Math opens up a lot of doors. Most everything in the world involves math and engineering."
That's the message Audeen Fentiman, chairwoman of the Nuclear Engineering Program at Ohio State, tried to get across to students who gathered with more than 100 GE Aircraft Engines employees for an assembly to announce the grant at Aiken.
Fentiman told students that engineers and scientists designed the video games they play and the CD players they listen to. She also pointed out that people who enter math and science fields tend to have good salaries.
"Kids, math is cool - no matter what anybody says," said Kevin McAllister, general manager for customer and product support operation at GE Aircraft Engines.
The five-year grant is intended to increase students' knowledge and interest of math and related careers beginning in seventh grade.
At the high school level a course called "Engineering Experience" is to make math come alive through hands-on problem solving, such as taking apart a camera to learn about its mechanical and electrical functions.
"The goal (of this grant) is to inspire and prepare our students at Aiken and Chase to go on to college and maybe to become engineers themselves and come to work for us," McAllister said.
The grant will also provide training for teachers at both schools and is geared to improve proficiency test results.
"GE is great," said Therman Sampson II, principal at Chase. "They put their money where their mouth is.
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