TCS’s STEM summer day camp to support Latino and African American girls

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Mumbai: USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Institute of Engineering, Community and Cultural Competence (IEC3), and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation, today announced their collaboration with the IEC3 Summer Camp for Girls featuring goIT, TCS’s signature education programme. TCS goIT was developed as a cross-sector model that brings together the contextual relevance of industry, the pedagogical know how of education and inclusive access of youth serving organisations.

IEC3, a new institute led by its founding director, Dr Michelle Flowers Taylor, aims to lessen the barriers that have historically limited African American and Latino girls and women from entering and advancing in the fields of engineering and computer science. Inspired by her doctoral research, Dr Taylor developed the IEC3 Learning model in collaboration with USC STEM education faculty, which facilitates access to culturally relevant, hands-on STEM experiences.

Primarily focused toward middle school students underrepresented in computing fields, TCS’s goIT offers a free and flexible programme for schools, non-profits and other youth-serving institutions to help students engage actively in computational thinking by using a student-driven exploration of community-centered issues. Students work in teams to identify a problem, generate possible solutions, wireframe their prototypes, develop and test their mobile apps, and present their work to peers and judges. TCS goIT has engaged more than 13,000 students in more than 50 cities and 100 school districts since 2009 in North America, with promising results. Over 88 percent of students said that goIT helped them realise that STEM skills affect their career options, and 94 percent of students learned more about careers in technology from goIT.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with IEC3 at USC as we seek to expand our collective reach to middle school girls from underserved communities,” said Lina Klebanov, senior manager, Corporate Social Responsibility, Education Programs, TCS. “Public-private sector collaborations are essential to scale and impact, and we could not be more pleased with the excitement that our collaboration has created among the students and their parents,” Ms Klebanov added.

“The collaboration with TCS is a terrific opportunity to bring real-world tech skills to the students, parents and teachers that we serve with the IEC3 Learning Model,” said Dr Taylor.

A key component of the IEC3 model is the integration of hands-on industry-driven skill development activities introduced to students in a culturally relevant manner, which significantly increases the level of student aspiration and confidence, drawn from their funds of knowledge and unique experiences.

The week-long IEC3 day camp will be held on the campus of USC. It addresses a National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge of Restoring and Improving Urban Infrastructure. The camp will include an ideation component facilitated by Google engineers and innovators at the company’s Venice campus.

Most recently, IEC3 facilitated a Girls Empowerment Workshop Series in a local Los Angeles school. “The IEC3 Girl Empowerment Workshop Series’ speakers were so informative and approachable to our students. The girls were inspired and now they are super excited about the upcoming IEC3 summer camp,” said Susan Becker, assistant principal of 32nd Street School located within blocks of the USC campus.