Today, four northern California schools announced that they have received $20,000 in grant funding from Verizon, as part of the Verizon Innovative Learning Grant. This grant is designed for K-12 schools to earn funds and develop STEM education programs. This is a strong initiative by the wireless company to foster the love of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to build a strong tech workforce in the future.
“We created this program to support the integration of innovative STEM initiatives in schools across the country, and we are pleased to recognize these schools," said Russ Preite, region president for Verizon Wireless. "The proposal submitted by these schools exemplifies the type of initiatives that will provide exposure to students around STEM fields, and also offer [the] students hands-on project-based learning opportunities that will help increase their interest and achievement in STEM.”
Here’s a list of the four NorCal schools, and their plans for the funding:
- San Francisco Alliance of Black School Educators (San Francisco, CA): The Robotics Clubs for Inner City Youth plans to meet twice a week and use common core standards, technology and robots to encourage elementary and middle school students to study STEM in higher education.
- Paramount Academy: This school plans to use funding for a program in which students will apply engineering principles through the design and manufacture of objects for STEM projects. The final step for these students will be to demonstrate a working business model to an outside venture capital organization for funding.
- KIPP Bayview Academy in San Francisco: This academy is building a college-prep program for its students to master digital literacy standards.
- Jeanne R. Meadows Elementary (San Jose, CA): Funding here will be used for the fourth through sixth grade demographic. Students will learn computer programming and control systems, as well as extra coding for the sixth grade students.
Why is this so important? As many of you know, there is an increasing demand for STEM professionals, and the trend is only growing. In addition, there was a report last year that showed the STEM job market is larger than previously reported. Verizon representatives said that they will be providing up to $100 million in contributions to foster STEM Education in US schools.