Lenovo Distributes Laptops to NAF Academies Through Signature Program
As part of the program, students participate in a project-based competition that tasks them with designing and developing a mobile app and a business plan for taking the app to market. When the program was officially announced in July, a record number of applications were received from NAF academies across the United States eager to participate in the program. Ten NAF academies were selected to participate in September.
The ThinkPad laptops and YOGA 2 tablets will aid the students in development, coding and testing of their mobile apps, as well as to help teachers and mentors with curriculum implementation.
“The program coursework and practical experience provide the students with key technical skills and also the critical thinking, problem-solving and collaboration skills that will enable them to emerge as the change leaders of tomorrow,” said Jay Parker, president, Lenovo North America.
Academies are using Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) App Inventor, a web-based tool for creating Android apps, to build and test their apps on Lenovo devices. MIT App Inventor is a joint project of the MIT Media Lab’s Center for Mobile Learning and MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. NAF and MIT partner together to provide technical assistance and support materials for teachers using MIT App Inventor in the Lenovo Scholar Network.
Various communities have been sharing the impact this program will have on participating academies. National student mobile app competitions are set to take place this year.
About the Lenovo Scholar Network:
Through the Lenovo Scholar Network, students are exposed to a well-rounded curriculum of mobile app development and entrepreneurship courses that will provide them with the knowledge, resources and practical experience to help ensure college and career success. The Lenovo Scholar Network is designed to encourage greater interest among underserved high school students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, while providing them with high-tech skills to succeed in the 21st century. During an initial Lenovo pilot in 2012, students from five NAF Information Technology Academies across the United States participated in the program and successfully created and launched apps, some of which are available to the public on Google Play.
The National Academy Foundation: The National Academy Foundation (NAF) is an acclaimed network of career-themed academies that open doors for underserved high school students to viable careers. For more than 30 years, NAF has refined a proven model that provides young people access to industry-specific curricula, work-based learning experiences and relationships with business professionals. NAF academies focus on one of five career themes: finance, hospitality and tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences. Nearly 5,000 business professionals volunteer in classrooms, act as mentors, engage NAF students in paid internships and serve on local advisory boards.