STEM program set for middle school girls

Shawnee State University is partnering with Verizon Innovative Learning, an education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, to bring a three-week, tuition-free STEM program aimed at middle-school girls to SSU July 16 through Aug. 3.

The dynamic, three-week, intensive learning experience is open to 100 girls from middle schools across Scioto County and the surrounding area. All courses will be held 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday on SSU’s campus. Lunch and transportation will be provided for students participating in the program. Participating students will also receive a tablet for the duration of the program.

The Verizon Innovative Learning programs will introduce augmented reality, 3D printing, entrepreneurship, design and more to prepare girls for tech careers of the future. The programs are designed for girls in sixth through eighth grades, especially those is rural parts of the country.

“We want young girls to begin dreaming of their futures — and to see themselves as tech leaders, engineers, programmers, gamers and innovators,” SSU President Dr. Rick Kurtz said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Verizon and to utilize the expertise we have in these fields on campus to introduce STEM education to a younger audience.”

Following the summer, students will participate in monthly sessions throughout the academic year where they will develop technology solutions for a community problem that aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The focus areas of the SDGs include poverty reduction, quality education, good health and well-being, climate action, peace and justice or gender equality.

Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM careers, where a staggering 86% of engineering and 74% of computer professionals are men. The percentage of women in STEM careers has not improved since 2001, specifically within the engineering (12%) and computing (26%) workforces. Launched in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACEE), the two-year program was piloted last summer at five community colleges, and will expand to 16 community colleges, engaging over 1,500 students.

Verizon Innovative Learning gives free technology, free access and innovative curricula to students impacted by the digital divide to help them realize a brighter future. To date, Verizon has invested $200 million in this initiative and has reached more than one million students. To learn more about Verizon Innovative Learning, go to

For more information about the STEM program, go to

To register your student, contact Brittany Bazler, Camp Director and Coordinator of Event & Conference Services at SSU, at or 740-351-3391.