The Verizon Foundation has announced a new initiative to advance science, technology, engineering, and math education by helping teachers integrate mobile technology into classroom instruction and engaging students in new ways.
The initiative comprises three integrated programs: the Verizon Innovative App Challenge, Verizon Innovative Learning Schools, and the Thinkfinity platform. Created in partnership with the Technology Student Association, the App Challenge invites middle and high school students to design concepts for mobile apps that integrate STEM subjects and address a problem in their schools or communities. Five middle schools and five high schools will each receive a $10,000 cash grant along with training and support to build the apps and bring them to market.
The Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program, in partnership with the International Society for Technology in Education, has begun offering a comprehensive professional development program to help teachers integrate mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets into STEM instruction at twelve schools in underserved neighborhoods. Thinkfinity.org, an integrated platform for educational resources and an online professional learning community, also provides free access to new training materials from the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program.
"We know that technology can transform the way teachers teach and students learn," said Verizon Foundation president Rose Stuckey Kirk. "This new app challenge is our way of meeting kids where they are and showing them how technology can be used in unique and fun ways to help them learn. Our engineers are excited to participate and lend their expertise to make this learning experience more relevant and engaging for the students."