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The SAE Foundation and Nissan - Partners in STEM Education

WARRENDALE, Pa., Sept. 11, 2013 - The SAE Foundation is pleased to announce the receipt of a $125,000 gift from Nissan to bring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to life for students in kindergarten through grade 3. The donation is part of Nissan’s larger pledge of $1.75 million made to the SAE Foundation for the development, testing and launching of SAE International’s A World In Motion® (AWIM) primary learning materials.  

Nissan’s donation enabled SAE International to create four hands-on science and literature units that introduce the earliest learners to STEM concepts. These activities, similar to all AWIM activities, benchmark to national math and science standards and engage students in fun and challenging building exercises, including:

- Rolling Things - Students launch cars from ramps and investigate the effects that different ramp heights and car weights have on distance traveled, while measuring and recording data gathered through variable testing.

- Pinball Designers - Students design a homemade pinball game and explore the behavior of the different components, such as the pinball, ball traps, and bumpers.

- Engineering Inspired By Nature - Students investigate methods of seed dispersal in nature and then use that knowledge to create paper helicopters and parachutes.

- Straw Rockets - Students create a straw rocket that flies farther and higher through optimizing their own design.

“Inspiring children to be curious and excited about math and science is the first step in educating future engineers, designers and scientists,” said Carla Bailo, senior vice president, Research & Development, Nissan Americas. “We are proud to partner with the SAE Foundation to support the ongoing delivery of this exceptional curriculum.”

For 20 years, Nissan has played an integral part in the SAE Foundation and the success of its STEM education programs. Because of the company’s strong commitment, AWIM classroom-based program offerings have grown by 67% and over 12,000 additional students have been reached through the release of the primary curriculum. Nissan currently gives back to students by providing AWIM volunteers in Arizona and Michigan.  

 The Straw Rocket and Rolling Things programs are wonderful cross-curricular programs that grab the students attention and pull them into the learning. It gives the students the opportunity to test, collaborate, question, and challenge the ideas taught in the program and make connections to the real world! It is absolutely amazing how students use the vocabulary correctly, realize that math and science are exciting, and apply what they learn in the program such as, problem solving, team work, and collaboration to other situations both in the classroom and outside of the classroom. - Debbie Herman, Third Grade Teacher

The seven weeks that I presented Rolling Things to my kindergarten students was a wonderful and rewarding experience for me. As a teacher of young children, I strive to build a strong academic and social foundation, encourage a love for learning, and give the children opportunities to try something new without fear or intimidation. I was able to offer all those things to my students through the Rolling Things program. Additionally, I observed my students working as partners, having discussions, experimenting, documenting, testing, and most of all having a great time while they learn. It was also fun to hear them use new and authentic vocabulary just like a real engineer! I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the A World In Motion program. - Lori Loos, Kindergarten Teacher

“Through its generous donations to the SAE Foundation and the AWIM program, Nissan has demonstrated its commitment to advancing STEM education to students in all grades,” said Chris Ciuca, Director of Pre-Professional Programs, SAE International. “We are honored to have Nissan as a supporter of the AWIM curriculum.”

For more information about AWIM, visit, email or call 1-800-457-2946. To view videos of these programs in action, visit 

SAE International is a global association committed to being the ultimate knowledge source for the engineering profession. By uniting over 138,000 engineers and technical experts, we drive knowledge and expertise across a broad spectrum of industries. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our charitable arm the SAE Foundation, including programs like A World in Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™.

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