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Nease Academy of Engineering 2011

Stellar donates ten new desktop computers and four new laptops for the school's drafting lab.

CONTACT: Allison Korman Shelton at 904-899-9818 or

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Future architects, engineers, and designers in the Stellar Academy of Engineering at Nease are enjoying state-of-the-art technology, thanks to a gift from the academy's primary business partner. Stellar has donated ten new desktop computers and four new laptops for the school's drafting lab. Students needed the computers to upgrade to the newest version of AutoCAD, the 2D and 3D architectural design software used by professionals worldwide. Teacher Vanessa Vitale says the new computers also help her accommodate growing demand. "Since I have some large classes," she says, "the extra computers allow students to work independently and develop their skills more effectively."

Stellar's partnership with Nease began in July 2007, when the company provided a Stellar engineer to teach Drafting at the Nease campus. Because of this unique arrangement, students have been able to work on several real-world projects, such as designing a dream home. In addition, division managers from Stellar visit the classroom to provide such industry insight as the steps of project management. As Stellar's Director of Marketing and Public Relations Ali Korman explains, "Creating a better educated employee creates greater economic wealth for the individual, and for our community."

Academies are smaller learning communities within a high school. Career Academies incorporate features such as integration of academic and career-related curriculum, team-teaching, and business involvement. National studies show that Academies have a positive impact on student performance, including improved attendance, higher grades, improved graduation rates and higher college-bound rates. Academies emphasize motivational and real-world activities including hands-on projects, business mentoring, internships and field trips.

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