Verizon understands that technology has the power to solve today’s problems and create a brighter future, and that the future of technology is in today’s youth. But too few minority and female students are going into technology fields. That’s why Verizon is working to unleash the untapped potential that exists in America’s schools and communities.
The Verizon Foundation has focused its resources and expertise on creating innovative solutions to inspire today’s students to become the creators of tomorrow. Verizon Innovative Learning, its education initiative, puts technology in students’ hands and gives them experience solving real world problems. Its programs teach students to think like entrepreneurs and help them develop the skills needed for success in jobs of the future. The foundation’s mission is to inspire tomorrow’s creators, who will create better futures for themselves, for their communities and for the world.
Verizon Innovative Learning develops measurable STEM education programs from the ground-up , working in partnership with leading educational nonprofits. These programs currently provide more than 220,000 students, especially minorities and the underserved, with the resources, role models, and confidence they need to realize their full potential. In three key initiatives, Verizon Innovative Learning:
- equips middle schools with mobile devices, internet access and training to extend learning beyond the classroom walls.
- provides African American and Latino young men in middle school with summer immersion in technology and entrepreneurship on university campuses, as well as year-round mentoring.
- challenges middle and high school students to create ideas for apps that solve societal problems in an annual nationwide contest—the app challenge.
Working in partnership with Digital Promise, Verizon Innovative Learning provides tablets with data plans to every student and teacher, along with technology integration training, in dozens of middle schools nationwide. The partnership is helping to level the playing field for underserved students by giving them access to mobile technology, always available internet access and technology skills that they will need to compete.
Verizon Innovative Learning provides technology immersion and mentoring for young men in 12 cities across the country. Hundreds of minority boys in middle school have received hands-on experiences in coding, robotics and 3D design, as well as STEM and entrepreneurship skills on-campus at partner Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). Mentors trained by the National CARES Mentoring Movement are paired with participating students and meet regularly throughout the school year to help reinforce learning opportunities and skills development.
The app challenge is a nationwide contest that gives students hands-on experience solving real-world problems with technology. Students gain teamwork skills, exercise critical thinking and build character as they develop ideas for apps. Teams can win up to $20,000 for their school or club and the chance to work with app development experts from MIT to build their concepts into working apps. Open to middle and high school students in schools and nonprofit groups, the program is delivered in partnership with the Technology Student Association. Since the start of the app challenge in 2012, nearly 6,000 student teams have participated.
Verizon Innovative Learning labs provide hands-on, experiential technology workshops for students aged 8-12 in select Verizon retail stores. Designed to foster greater student interest in STEM subjects, workshops expose students to topics like virtual reality, mobile app and game design, 3D printing and more. Led by certified instructors from Project Lead the Way, Verizon Innovative Learning Labs are open to all students regardless of their experience level. Also, Verizon teamed up with Arizona State University to provide a design thinking curriculum to high schools in a program that pairs student teams with local small businesses to build innovative business solutions and apps that help the companies attract customers.
Through these and other Verizon Innovative Learning initiatives, Verizon is helping to level the playing field and give all children the opportunity to succeed.