The Nordson Corporation Foundation and TECH CORPS announced a significant new partnership to increase middle school students’ access to high-quality science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education summer programs.
Through a $310,000 commitment, Nordson Corporation Foundation will fund the expansion of TECH CORPS’ Techie Camp program in Ohio, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Georgia over the next two years. Nordson’s support of TECH CORPS is in alignment with its commitment to improving educational outcomes in communities where Nordson facilities and employees are located.
“Nordson wants to build a continuum of opportunities that will introduce students to science and technology in fun and engaging ways,” said Cecilia H. Render, Nordson Corporation Foundation Executive Director. “We already support programming for elementary and high school students in our communities, but until now, hadn’t found the right program to attract middle school students. After visiting a Techie Camp, we decided to help build the capacity of TECH CORPS to reach into the communities where we live and work.”
Techie Camp is a program designed to engage students in hands-on, interactive learning experiences that focus on the “T” in STEM. Students take a deep dive into subject matter focused on Programming, Robotics, Web Development or App Development. The over-arching goal of Techie Camp is to assist students in making connections between the technology they love to use and the educational and career opportunities associated with the creation of this technology.
“Through TECH CORPS programs like Techie Camp, we seek to move students from being passive users and consumers of technology to active creators and designers,” said Lisa M. Chambers, TECH CORPS National Executive Director. “We believe this introduction and orientation of early learners ignites their imagination and also equips them with the knowledge and abilities to confidently pursue STEM education and career pathways,” said Chambers.
Between 2010-2020, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there will be approximately 1.4 million computing related job openings in the U.S. but in the last three years, less than 3% of U.S. graduates earned a degree in computer science. A recent survey of more than 5.5 million high school freshman found that just 28% of them indicated an interested in a STEM-related field.
Through the development of engaging after-school and summer technology programs, like Techie Camp, TECH CORPS works to inspire more students to pursue technology-related educational and career pathways.
“America’s future economic growth, employability of our country’s workforce and the strength of our national security depends on partnerships like the one we have forged with the Nordson Corporation Foundation to introduce the wonders of technology to young Americans during the formative middle school years,” said Gary Beach, TECH CORPS Founder and the author of The U.S. Technology Skills Gap.
This summer, TECH CORPS will partner with Northeast Ohio school districts, universities and nonprofit organizations to offer the Nordson-sponsored Techie Camps to students who live in Lorain County, Youngstown or New Castle, PA. In 2016, TECH CORPS will expand the program into Nordson communities in Rhode Island, New Jersey and Georgia.
This summer, in addition to the Nordson-sponsored camps, TECH CORPS will deliver technology programming to more than 1,000 elementary, middle and high school students across the State of Ohio.