Posted on Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Through partnership with Verizon, Paul D. Camp and Patrick Henry Community Colleges bring free STEM workshops to area girls

Submitted by Paul D. Camp and Patrick Henry Community Colleges  

Verizon Innovative Learning recently launched its first program addressing the need for more girls, especially those in rural America, to be prepared for the science, technology, engineering and math careers of the future. The three-week summer learning experience is currently taking place at Paul D. Camp Community College in Franklin and Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, two of only five community colleges piloting the program in rural areas across the country in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).  

The program exposes 50 middle school girls from the service areas to the fundamentals of augmented reality, coding, 3D design, entrepreneurship and design-thinking principles, as well as to female mentors. Leveraging an augmented reality interface and app, students create a culminating project that identifies—and solves–a community problem that aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Following the summer program, students will continue to participate in monthly courses in person and virtually to build upon what they have learned and complete their final augmented reality products at both colleges.  

Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM careers, where a staggering 86 percent of engineers and 74 percent of computer professionals are men. The percentage of women in STEM careers has not improved since 2001, specifically within the engineering (12 percent) and computing (26 percent) workforces.

This entire experience is part of Verizon’s nationwide #weneedmore initiative, which aims to bring more attention to the critical need for more girls to see the world of possibilities waiting for them in STEM fields. With a commitment of $160 million, Verizon’s program will impact 300,000 students and 7,400 teachers nationwide. Learn more at'

Laura Osberger

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