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Program Boosts Minority Male Middle-Schoolers’ Tech Skills

During July, Hampton University and Verizon Innovative Learning collaborated on a program that allowed male minority middle-school students to immerse themselves in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities in order to bridge the digital divide.

According to Hampton University, by 2020, 77 percent of U.S. jobs will require technology skills. The program provides select students from various Hampton City Schools access to free technology in order to improve their skills.

Students participate in multiple classes a day, which were taught by university professors, including design thinking, 3D modeling and electronics.

Participants from the Verizon Innovative Learning program are 53 percent more engaged in school, three times better in math and two times better in reading, according to Hampton .

In addition to taking classes on campus, students were given mentors to teach them teamwork, respect and presentation skills. The mentors will remain as a point of contact for the students for a year in order to answer any further questions.

“This is an excellent opportunity for these young men to be exposed to emerging technology and to be immersed in technology as creative thinkers of the technology solutions that impacts local and global communities,” said Dr. Otsebele E. Nare, and associate professor at Hampton’s School of Engineering. “We thank Verizon for the vision and support of this program, as well as continuing this partnership with Hampton University.”

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