Verizon Foundation Invests More Than $100,000 in Indiana STEM Projects for Students
Numerous Academic Programs are Planned for K-12 Schools and Universities
INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the nation's largest and most reliable network, is investing more than $100,000 in Indiana students to drive engagement and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with many of its grants serving underserved youth. The foundation has established programs that enable students to explore in STEM in new, innovative ways, increase teachers' efficiency in integrating technology into the classroom and create more personalized learning environments to help students succeed.
"Student interest and proficiency in STEM has been stagnant in the United States, especially among women and minorities, although 80 percent of all jobs over the next decade will require STEM skills. That's why we are focusing so much of our resources here in Indiana, to get students engaged," said Aimee Novak, director of business sales for Verizon in Indiana.
"This year's motto of 'Small School, Big Opportunities' has been highlighted with the arrival of the tools we have invested in with our Verizon grant. What has me chuckling the most is that we have only begun and we are working in the Awesome Spectrum now … or so say the kids," said Robert Wilson, technologist at the Indiana School for the Deaf. "What I believe saved the day was that our zeal and passion are on par. Our size has us equally abundant in our wealth of STEM capabilities, thanks to Verizon, since our small school is able to offer first and world-class STEM classes which provide authentic experiences in learning skills for a modern technological workplace."
We are offering a unique opportunity to its students to bring manufacturing prototyping to coursework that will feature solving engineering problems through product development and sales. Autodesk AutoCAD, Inventor 3D CAD, SketchUp, Blender and LightWave3D are being taught to create objects for virtual environments. STEM classes are planned that will have multiple departments working in collaboration toward teaching cross-curriculum classes. STEM is an educational approach to learning that uses science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking. The school is creating student opportunities in the classroom and in after-school clubs.
The goal of many Verizon-funded programs is to find ways to connect with students earlier in their studies so that innovative programs can help create a STEM-literate workforce. The Verizon Innovative Learning program provides unique opportunities to students, such as adequate educational preparation through innovative teaching methods and encouragement from role models, mentors, teachers and parents who see the potential of the girls to succeed in STEM careers. Additionally, the company has hosted for the past three years a nationwide student app design contest. The competition channels young people's devotion to their mobile devices into a hands-on learning experience that empowers them to become builders of technology solutions to everyday problems. For more on the program visit: http://verizon.com/appchallenge.