The Verizon Foundation is the philanthropic entity of Verizon. We are focused on accelerating social change by using the company’s innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management. The Foundation has several education programs focused on developing students’ interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Some of those key highlights are:
- The Verizon Innovative App Challenge – launched last Fall, this competition tasked high- and middle- schools across the country to come up with an innovative app concept for the chance to win $10,000 for their school and get a Samsung tablet, courtesy of Samsung Mobile! The competition closed Jan. 18 and the 10 winning teams – 5 high schools and 5 middle schools – of the Verizon Innovative App Challenge were recently announced. The 10 winning teams have begun to work with MIT Media Labs to learn about the basics of coding to build their app and bring it to life, using the MIT App Inventor tool, a free tool which allows anyone — young students — to be able to fully develop an app from scratch with limited technical knowledge. We will work with these students to bring their apps to the Google Play Store by the end of this summer.
- The Verizon Innovative Learning School (VILS)- this is the Verizon Foundation’s program where it partnered with ISTE (ISTE.org) to provide teachers with training on how to effectively integrate technology into the classroom to help increase student interest in STEM subjects. Note, while many schools have mobile technology in the classroom it is not used effectively… many times students are using it to do online searches or to watch YouTube. When taught how to integrate mobile devices into the classroom, teachers are offered a real-time view of how well students understood the course material that was just covered (for instance, teachers can conduct instant polling) and students can use those devices to better understand subjects that are tough for them (for instance interactive games to learn about fractions or other subjects).
MO: Why has the Verizon Foundation chosen to focus resources on helping to increase the interest of students on the core subjects of STEM?