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April 23, 2001

INFINITY PROJECT ANNOUNCES NEW SCHOOLS FOR 2001-2002; HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN 10 STATES WILL NOW BE OFFERED INNOVATIVE ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY CURRICULUM

DALLAS (SMU) -- The Infinity Project, a program sponsored by the Southern Methodist University School of Engineering and Texas Instruments that introduces engineering into the high school curriculum, will go nationwide for the 2001-2002 school year, with more than 40 high schools in 10 states participating.

"The schools that have been selected to participate in the Infinity Project next year represent some of the best and most innovative schools in the country," said Infinity Project Director Geoffrey Orsak, an associate professor of electrical engineering at SMU.

Twenty-five new schools in Alabama, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia have been accepted to participate in the Infinity Project. The schools include both urban and suburban public high schools as well as several private schools.

The Infinity Project is the first in the country to help school districts incorporate state-of-the-art engineering and advanced technology into standard high school curricula. The program is designed to help students understand the real-world relevance of engineering, science and math and to expose them to high-tech career opportunities.

"As the world becomes more reliant on the Internet and wireless communications, the technology behind these things becomes more important," said Torrence Robinson, worldwide university programs manager for Texas Instruments. "The school districts that are participating in the Infinity Project realize this and are giving their students a head start on the future. With Infinity, they'll become the great creators of tomorrow."

The Infinity Project curriculum is incorporated into a year-long engineering class offered to sophomores, juniors or seniors who have completed Algebra II and one science course. The class focuses on the math and science fundamentals of the information revolution and teaches students how engineers create and design the technology around them.

The curriculum and associated technology for the Infinity Project were developed by some of the country's leading college engineering professors, in cooperation with K-12 education experts. This summer, Prentice Hall's Engineering, Science and Mathematics Division will publish a preliminary version of Multimedia and Information Engineering, the textbook written by the Infinity Project authors. It will be one of the first high school engineering textbooks ever published.

To be accepted into the Infinity Project, high schools must meet four criteria. They must have committed school administrators, motivated and qualified instructors who are certified in math or science and are comfortable using computer programs, energetic students with the appropriate prerequisites, and sufficient lab equipment and space. Four week-long training sessions for new Infinity teachers will be held at SMU this summer.

In 2000-2001, 13 high schools in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio participated in the Infinity Project's pilot year. The addition of six new schools from the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) means that nearly half of the district's high schools will now be offering the Infinity curriculum to their students. DISD has a grant from the National Science Foundation to implement the Infinity Project in its high schools. This coming year, mentors from Microsoft as well as Texas Instruments and the SMU School of Engineering will assist Infinity teachers in Dallas-area classrooms.

"Not only will our students get real-life engineering experience, but they also will get to talk to real engineers," said Janice Goines, Infinity Project coordinator for DISD.

Orsak and Robinson said national demand for the Infinity Project has far exceeded their expectations.

"The project's growth in such a short time period underscores the importance, relevance and timeliness of the information it offers," Robinson said.


SCHOOLS ACCEPTED INTO THE INFINITY PROJECT FOR 2001-2002

Vestavia Hills High School -- Birmingham, Ala.

Bradshaw High School -- Florence Ala.

Homewood High School -- Homewood, Ala.

Center for Advanced Research and Technology -- Clovis, Calif.

Oldham County High School -- Buckner, Ky.

Massachusetts Academy of Mathematics and Science – Worcester, Mass.

Cor Jesu Academy -- Fenton, Mo.

Ursuline Academy -- Kirkwood, Mo.

Teaneck High School -- Teaneck, N.J.

Trinity Christian Academy -- Addison, Texas

Trinity Lyceum -- Arlington, Texas

Highland Park High School -- Dallas, Texas

The Winston School -- Dallas, Texas

Moises Molina High School -- Dallas, Texas

W. H. Adamson High School -- Dallas, Texas

H.G. Spruce High School -- Dallas, Texas

J. F. Kimball High School -- Dallas, Texas

A. Maceo Smith High School -- Dallas, Texas

Thomas Jefferson High School -- Dallas, Texas

Riverside High School -- El Paso, Texas

St. John's School -- Houston, Texas

Harlandale High School -- San Antonio, Texas

Olympus High School --- Salt Lake City, Utah

Chantilly Academy -- Chantilly, Va.

George Washington High school -- Charleston, W. Va.

For more information on the Infinity Project, visit its Web site at www.infinity-project.org.


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