Manassas, Va. – Symbolizing its steady commitment to supporting education in Prince William County, today I-66 Express Mobility Partners (I-66 EMP), builder and operator of the 66 Express Outside the Beltway, presented a ceremonial check for $23,000 to representatives of SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools.
The funds have been earmarked for the installation of new maker spaces at five (5) Title I middle schools across the county – Fred Lynn and George M. Hampton middle schools in Woodbridge, Beville Middle School in Dale City, Graham Park Middle School in Triangle, and Unity Braxton Middle School in Manassas. Equipped with tools, materials, and computers, maker spaces are rooms, stations, laboratories or other areas designated for hands-on experimentation and creative innovation, encouraging students to develop an interest in STEM subjects.
"Prince William County Public Schools' students and families greatly benefit from active, engaged business community partners like I-66 EMP," said Dawn Davis, executive director of SPARK. "We appreciate their continued support, and we are excited to see the creativity these new maker spaces will spark in our students."
The dollar amount is the total donated to SPARK by I-66 EMP so far in 2023, maintaining a strong partnership between the private consortium and the education foundation. Previous outreach includes presenting at STEAM Fest and sponsoring the regional science and engineering fair. In 2020, I-66 EMP was honored with SPARK's Business Partner Award.
"As an organization, we've always believed that a strong education system that emphasizes STEM learning is vitally important to Prince William County's economic future," said Nancy H. Smith, corporate affairs director for I-66 EMP. "It's our hope that the new maker spaces in Prince William schools will give rise to the next generation of architects, engineers, and innovative thinkers."
SPARK, the Education Foundation for Prince William County Public Schools, stands for "Supporting Partnerships And Resources for Kids." Working with community partners, SPARK facilitates a variety of programs to encourage kids to develop an interest in and a capacity for learning, including school supply drives, book bundles, and STEM-oriented field trips. More about SPARK is at www.PoweredBySPARK.org.
About the 66 Express Lanes Outside the Beltway:
Part of VDOT’s Transform 66 Outside the Beltway program, the 66 Express Lanes are a transformative 22.5-mile multi-modal mega-project featuring advanced dynamic-tolling systems to keep traffic flowing at all times. The lanes provide Northern Virginia commuters, businesses, and mass transit with a reliable option to move people, goods, and services throughout the I-66 corridor, allowing drivers to Sit Less, Live More. Visit www.Ride66Express.com to learn more, and keep up with the 66 Express Lanes on Facebook and Twitter.
About I-66 Express Mobility Partners:
I-66 Express Mobility Partners (EMP) is a consortium of leading infrastructure companies including Cintra, Meridiam, and APG. In public-private partnership (P3) with the VDOT, I-66 EMP is contracted to operate the 66 Express Lanes Outside the Beltway through 2066. Connect with I-66 EMP on LinkedIn.