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December 17, 2003

Alcoa Foundation Celebrates the Centennial of Flight with Science and Technology Education Initiatives in Alcoa Communities Across the U.S.

PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 17, 2003--To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the historic Wright brothers' flight, Alcoa Foundation today announced an initiative to foster science education for youth, specifically for young girls and under-represented children. "The Sky's the Limit: Create a Flight Plan for your Future" is a community-based support initiative that focuses on programs that cultivate educational and career interests in science and technology for middle-school teachers and students in communities where Alcoa manufactures aerospace product.

The cornerstone of the Foundation's initiative is an educational poster that serves as a tool for teachers to guide students in their exploration of different career options in science and technology. In addition, Alcoa Foundation is providing grants to community organizations to extend the educational value of the exhibit in several Alcoa locations:

  • In Cleveland, home to the Alcoa Automotive, Aerospace and Commercial Transportation Group, the International Women's Air & Space Museum will be hosting career fairs for middle-school girls to encourage careers in science and technology; and the Academy of Model Aeronautics will be organizing middle-school teachers' workshops about flight-based curriculum to support "school-to-work" objectives.
  • Hutchinson, Kansas is celebrating the centennial with a grant to the Kansas Press Foundation for several activities that began in November, including an educational insert in the Hutchinson News, a Teachers' Night Out to celebrate the story of flight with educational materials at Cosmosphere, and a national contest to predict weather conditions at Kill Devil Hills, NC on December 17, 2003.
  • In Arizona, the Arizona Aerospace Foundation is creating a Centennial of Flight exhibition and materials; and Arizona State University organized a tour of aerospace projects and a paper airplane competition.
  • The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District located in Whitehall, Michigan is providing funding for economically disadvantaged schools to attend the Girls Math and Science Conference.

"For Alcoa Foundation, the centennial of flight is a celebration of Alcoa's interest in diversity and access to educational and career opportunities, especially in the area of science and technology," said Kathleen Buechel, president and treasurer of the Foundation. "We are proud of our grants to these organizations for programs that may spark the curiosity of the next generation of aerospace engineers and technicians."

These grants build on Alcoa's sponsorship of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum exhibition, "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age."

Alcoa, originally known as the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, contributed to making the Wright brother's vision a reality by supplying the aluminum for the crankcase of original Wright flyer. Alcoa has produced products for the Aerospace industry ever since.

About Alcoa Foundation

Established in 1952, Alcoa Foundation is a global resource that actively invests in improving the quality of life in more than 29 countries around the world where Alcoa operates. The Foundation's grants address global and local needs in Areas of Excellence that include: Conservation and Sustainability, Global Education and Workplace Skills, Business and Community Partnerships and Safe and Healthy Children and Families. Alcoa Foundation manages the ACTION and Bravo! employee volunteer programs. For more information about Alcoa Foundation, visit, under Community.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components, Alcoa also markets consumer brands including Reynolds Wrap(R) foils and plastic wraps, Alcoa(R) wheels, and Baco(R) household wraps. Among its other businesses are vinyl siding, closures, precision castings, and electrical distribution systems for cars and trucks. The company has 127,000 employees in 41 countries. More information can be found at