Read Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project’s report: African Americans and Technology
A lot of people talk about the need to broaden the funnel of youth who pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. Fact is, the changing demographics make it an economic imperative.
Dr. Jamie Bracey, director of STEM Education, Outreach and Research at Temple University, walks the talk.
Dr. Bracey leads Pennsylvania MESA, an initiative that is “designed to prepare students for academic and professional careers in mathematics, engineering, science, and technology.” She says the key to STEM success is OTL and MTP.
Dr. Bracey’s success in seeding the STEM pipeline is recognized in the September issue of Black Enterprise:
Pennsylvania MESA is equipping middle and high school students with the tools they need to compete in the global market.
Read more: Unlocking Innovation in Teens
What’s Going On is a mobile web app that curates information about after-school and summer programs in Philadelphia.
While there are a number of databases that aggregate information about out-of-school-time programs, the information is not current. Parents and students are frustrated in their efforts to find safe, productive activities. The demand for academic enrichment programs will increase in the wake of the “doomsday” budget approved by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.
In addition to the school budget crisis, Philadelphia’s digital divide is a chasm. Nearly half of Philly households do not have access to the Internet. So, many parents and students will search for safe and productive out-of-school-time activities at the public library or Keyspot public computer center. While Internet access is free, there is a time limit. Philadelphians on the wrong side of the digital divide are not free to sit there as long as it takes to find a program.
What’s Going On is at the intersection of technology, education and civic engagement. Program providers, parents and community members are invited to submit a program. The information is verified before the program is added to Wikidelphia, Philly’s local wiki.
In recognition of our efforts to promote civic engagement, the What’s Going On team has been invited to the White House to participate in the Champions of Change event which will highlight “extraordinary leaders in transformative civic hacking and civic engagement.”
The invitation reads:
On July 23, White House officials will participate in a discussion with these Champions to learn more about extraordinary individuals who are taking innovative approaches to engage citizens and communities in the practice of open government, civic participation, and civic hacking.
As a longtime champion of civic engagement, it’s an honor to be included in the mix.