The Verizon Innovative Learning program is a popular summer program designed to encourage minority males in middle school to pursue studies in STEM disciplines operated this summer at two historically Black universities—Tennessee State University and Dillard University—and two Hispanic Serving Institutions—Florida International University (FIU) and California State University, Los Angeles.
Minority males in middle schools near these universities were recruited to participate in the program. Throughout the summer, the young men had the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the varying science, technology, engineering, and math fields by engaging in mobile app development, 3D design, and building flying drones.
“We built a curriculum around engineering habits of mind and were explicit in our connection to their everyday interests. It was our intent that with this exposure, engagement, and integration into a STEM community, they would choose to pursue a STEM field, and perhaps, choose FIU.