Lenovo STEM Initiatives Recognized By White House

By Karen Ondrick, Chief Connector, Community Partnerships, Lenovo

During his time in office, President Barack Obama has called on leaders in education, business, and nonprofits to give every student access to computer science and STEM education to ensure they’re equipped with the tools needed to be innovators and problem solvers. During the sixth and final White House Science Fair on April 13, 2016, Lenovo was among a number of companies and organizations recognized for answering this call.

At Lenovo, we’re not just committed to creating technology for classrooms but also empowering students and teachers with technology skills needed to succeed in the future. Two of our STEM initiatives were highlighted by the White House, including the company’s partnership with NAF as part of the Lenovo Scholar Network and Lenovo in the Classroom Day volunteer initiative. Both represent our continued commitment to bringing STEM learning opportunities and technology and human capital resources to students. 

Bringing a mobile app development curriculum and delivery program to NAF academies– small learning communities within traditional high schools– our Lenovo Scholar Network offers both the curriculum and laptop and tablet devices needed to provide exposure and encourage interest in STEM learning and careers. The Lenovo Scholar Network mobile app development program is tailored to reach high schools students from urban, underrepresented communities and children of military families. We work with these students to help them to become the next generation of successful developers and entrepreneurs.

We have also partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to give participating Lenovo Scholar Network academies access to the MIT Media Lab’s App Inventor development tool to build and test student apps. They also get access to tech support during the school year.  As of the 2015-2016 academic year, the program now includes 30 NAF academy classrooms, providing more than 1,200 students with a rich application development curriculum and STEM education. Planning is underway with NAF to add 20 more high school classrooms for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The White House also recognized our Lenovo in the Classroom Day volunteer initiative, during which Lenovo employees visit NAF academies to interact with students, discuss the importance of STEM skills and careers. Our employees also share their own experience in the technology field, all as part of a work-based learning continuum. The next Lenovo in the Classroom Day will be held on April 19, 2016. 

In addition to these efforts, Lenovo supports a number of other STEM initiatives. We have sponsored the Kramden Institute since 2006, helping students refurbish thousands of computers while learning STEM skills.  Additionally, we currently sponsoring the Fabfinder talent search for up-and-coming reporters to appear in FabLab, a multi-media initiative featuring STEM opportunities for teens, especially girls. The talent search gives young people a chance to showcase their interest in STEM and connect with the next generation of STEM leaders and auditions will close on May 4, 2016.

We are honored that the White House has recognized Lenovo’s efforts to promote STEM learning and skill development in communities across the United States. We are excited to continue to support these programs and help inspire the next generations of STEM innovators.