Volkswagen announcement could affects local STEM education

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Updated: 7/14/2014 7:30 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) Volkswagen's news could also mean renewed excitement for engineering and STEM students in the area.

Teachers and engineers in the community who said they look forward to the opportunities today's announcement brings.

Chattanooga State's President James Catanzaro is one of them.

"Elation, excitement we know [it's] great things for our community and great things for our college,” said Catanzaro.

Chatt State has been the training partner for the Volkswagen Academy since day one.

“I don't think there's an academy like it anywhere in the world,”

The announcement of the new midsized SUV bringing around two thousand jobs to the area is great news for Chatt State and their instructors according to Dr. Catanzaro.

"We're going to be using that Academy even more then we have in the past, because it'll be literally hundreds, thousands and thousands of hours of training."

He remained silent on the possibility of Chatt State becoming more involved with Volkswagen, but he along with a few local engineers feel like this opportunity could really benefit the promotion of STEM education in Chattanooga.

"American kids do very well up to the third grade in Mathematics, and then they start falling off, by the ninth we've fallen behind and by the twelfth devastating. Can't have it, have to do something about it,” said Catanzaro.

Former Chattanooga Engineer Club President, Lulu Copeland, agreed and added that the research and development center is what excites her.

"The research and development facility here in Chattanooga which means that some of the design and engineering could be happening in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as opposed in Germany,” said Copeland.

Volkswagen is right in Chattanooga's back yard, and it may be easier to encouraging young minds of the benefits of learning math and technology according to Ralph Boroughs.

"Will we ever use this stuff, and of course they will if they're in manufacturing of cars or in the engineering and R&D.”

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