A $400k Verizon grant will support STEM education to underserved minority youths through summer camp programs.
Delaware State University and Verizon have announced a partnership to help provide underserved minority middle school boys with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in Delaware.
Through a grant, Verizon will provide $400,000 over the next two years supporting a program where DSU faculty, with backgrounds in various STEM studies, will help mentor middle school students. Students from DSU, William Henry Middle School, and Central Middle School in Dover will receive hands-on learning in coding, robotics, 3D design, and entrepreneurship.
“While we work year-round to produce success stories among our students on the University-level, through this program the University can offer elementary school to high school-age youths opportunities to attend summer camps that stimulate their intellect, build self-esteem, teach them academic disciplines that can help them thirst for higher education opportunities and give them career options in their futures,” said DSU President Harry L. Williams.
According to a 2015 report by the Schott Foundation, “minority males are severely underrepresented in STEM fields and are less likely than Caucasian peers to graduate from high school on time and pursue college.”
The Verizon Innovative Learning Program was created to help address the important need to engage underrepresented minority students in STEM. The program was launched in 2015 at four Historically Black Colleges and Universities and is now available in 12 cities across the nation.
According to Verizon, results of the program are promising. Data collected from 300 males who have participated in the program showed that 100 percent of students were more proficient with mobile technology; 75 percent reported a new found interest in STEM subjects, and 69 percent expressed interest in pursuing careers related to STEM subjects.
Verizon reports that STEM employment has grown three times faster than non-STEM employment over the past 10 years, and is expected to double non-STEM employment as soon as 2018.