November 8, 2007 - Detroit, MI - As part of the company's commitment to education programs nationwide, Toyota announced a $2 million contribution to the Detroit Science Center for the construction of the Toyota Engineering Theater. The contribution will help support the Engineering the Future campaign, an initiative to transform the Detroit Science Center into America's premier engineering-focused museum. Steve St. Angelo, senior vice president of Toyota's manufacturing operations made the announcement on behalf of the company today at the Youth Engineering and Science Expo (YES!) in Detroit.
The Engineering the Future campaign will dramatically transform the content of the Detroit Science Center, with 300 unique and interactive exhibits within an enhanced Energy & Matter Gallery and new Transportation, Space and Medical Marvels galleries. As part of the campaign, the Toyota Engineering Theater will offer an immersive, multi-media experience for visitors. It will be the only venue in the state focused completely on engineering careers. With active seating and a rotating stage, the high-tech theater will feature live hosts interfacing with "virtual" 3D presenters to profile stories of real engineers from across the state. Visitors can watch the 30-minute shows to learn more about the work life of an engineer, the academic skills required for an engineering degree and how the different technologies in the galleries were developed. The Toyota Engineering Theater is scheduled to open in December 2008.
"As Michigan continues to move towards becoming a knowledge-based economy, the enhancements to the Detroit Science Center will help inspire young visitors to pursue careers in engineering and other science-based fields," said Kevin Prihod, president and CEO of the Detroit Science Center. "We're thrilled to have Toyota's support as we work towards making the Science Center a science museum of national stature."
"The Detroit Science Center's mission to inspire the next generation of Michigan's engineers is vitally important," said Steve St. Angelo, senior vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc. "Toyota is proud to join our industry colleagues in demonstrating our ongoing commitment to the Science Center's efforts."
This year, Toyota is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the United States. Among its U.S. operations, Toyota Technical Center, a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc, is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Employing over 900 people, it is the company's largest technical center outside of Japan. The technical center is expanding, with the construction of a new engineering design facility and a safety test facility in nearby York Township, which will add an additional 400 new jobs by 2010. The company's investment in the state exceeds $850 million.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and will operate 15 manufacturing plants in North America by 2010. There are more than 1,700 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than 2.8 million vehicles in 2006. Toyota directly employs over 42,000 in North America and its investment here is currently valued at more than $19 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals more than $30 billion. According to a 2005 Center For Automotive Research study, Toyota, along with its dealers and suppliers, has generated nearly 400,000 U.S. jobs, including jobs created through spending by direct, dealer and suppliers employees. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com.
About the Detroit Science Center
The Detroit Science Center is a hands-on museum that inspires its visitors to pursue and support careers in engineering, technology and science. The Science Center features Michigan's only IMAX® Dome Theatre; the Dassault Systcmes Planetarium; the Ford Learning Resource Center; the DTE Energy Sparks Theater; the Chrysler Science Stage; an 8,700 square-foot Science Hall for traveling exhibits; hands-on exhibit galleries focusing on space, life and physical science; the United States Steel Fun Factory; a children's gallery for pint-size scientists; and a Special Events Lobby. The Science Center has served more than 1.8 million visitors since its grand re-opening on July 28, 2001. For more information, please call 313-577-8400 or visit the website, http://www.detroitsciencecenter.org.
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