Nearly 500 MPS students to explore careers in IT, engineering

MILWAUKEE – Nearly 500 Milwaukee Public Schools middle- and high-school students will spend Wednesday getting hands-on insight into higher education and careers in information technology and engineering thanks in part to more than 20 business and community partners.

The partners are presenters at this spring’s “iFair,” hosted by Harley-Davidson Motor Company and MPS’ Washington High School of Information Technology. Washington IT students’ will also present, giving demonstrations in technology, engineering and robotics.

The event comes as the U.S. needs to graduate 400,000 students with four-year degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to meet demand – but is only graduating around 265,000, according to STEM curriculum provider Project Lead the Way. Milwaukee Public Schools utilizes Project Lead the Way curriculum in more than 30 schools – including Washington High School of IT – to help fill that gap.

The iFair runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at Harley-Davidson University, 3800 W. Juneau Avenue, Milwaukee 53208.

MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton and Harley-Davidson Director of Product Development Operations Tony Wilcox are set to speak at 9:45 a.m. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is set to join the event at approximately 10:30 a.m. to proclaim Wednesday “iFair Day” in the City of Milwaukee.

Interested media must contact MPS media manager Tony Tagliavia at (414) 475-8675 or tagliaaj@milwaukee.k12.wi.us.

Partners include host Harley-Davidson, BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT, Badger Meter, CH2M HILL, the Computer Science Teachers Association, Dedicated Computing, Direct Supply, Enterprise Systems Group, FIRST, Marcus Hotels and Resorts, Microsoft, Milwaukee Area Technical College, PDS, Project Lead the Way, Rockwell Automation, Quad/Graphics, SIM Wisconsin, STEM Forward, Time Warner Cable, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Versi-Fit Technologies.

Milwaukee Public Schools is Wisconsin’s largest school district, serving more than 78,000 students in more than 160 schools across the city. U.S. News and World Report named MPS’ Rufus King International School and Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School the two best high schools in the state and among the 200 best in the country in 2012. In the past year, Milwaukee Public Schools posted a growing graduation rate 17 points higher than the rate for 2000.