Google Fiber Supports Summer STEM Camps for Metro Atlanta’s Underserved Students

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Community partnerships are the bedrock of Google Fiber’s approach to community impact programming and our digital inclusion investments. As a part of these efforts, Google Fiber is working  hand-in-hand with local organizations to provide STEM education and career opportunities to Metro Atlanta’s students through two immersive tech camps.

In partnership with Black & College Bound, Google FIber hosted the GitHub Scholars Program, a four-week program created for students ages 14-18 to learn more about career opportunities in technology with hands-on experiential projects and exposure to major tech firms and industry leaders.

In addition to regular daily programming and lessons, a panel of Googlers led a weekly discussion with the camp participants to share information about their day-to-day jobs and what it’s like to work in a STEM-related field.

The program is designed especially for underserved high school students of color who have a strong interest in tech careers and need guidance and support to achieve their goals.

“It is incredibly important to introduce students to STEM projects and job opportunities at an early age and then sustain that exposure throughout their educational careers,” Google Fiber Community Impact Manager Fabiola Charles Stokes said.

“That is why we support these camps and other tech education initiatives. These students are the future of our industry, and our industry is the future of the global economy. It’s important that they know these opportunities exist and that they are attainable.”

Google Fiber partnered with the City of Atlanta for a second STEM camp, which took place at four Atlanta recreation centers. Adamsville, Rosel Fann, Pittman and SouthBend Rec Centers are part of Centers of Hope — an initiative by Mayor Kasim Reed and the Atlanta Committee for Progress to turn ten abandoned neighborhood recreation centers into safe havens for Atlanta’s children.

As part of this initiative, Google Fiber committed to provide state-of-the-art technology for each of the 10 rec centers. They’ve already upgraded the four finished rec centers, and students have been using this new technology — including new desktop computers, new printers, Chromeboxes and Google Cardboard — to participate in STEM-related workshops featuring hands-on coding projects.

In addition, these computer labs are used regularly by Atlantans for students to complete homework assignments throughout the school year as well as job searching, application submissions and digital literacy programming for adults and seniors.

The GitHub Scholars Program at the Fiber Academy and the STEM workshops at the Atlanta Centers of Hope rec centers are two examples of Google Fiber’s ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide in Metro Atlanta and raise STEM awareness among students, sparking interest at an early age for a growing and lucrative job market.

“We want to connect as many people as possible to the Internet and the technology they need to learn and thrive in a 21st century classroom and workforce,” Stokes said. “Google Fiber is working neighborhood-by-neighborhood and community-by-community to improve digital inclusion and level the playing field when it comes to access to tech and adequate Internet speeds.”

“The students participating in the STEM camps this summer have served as a source of inspiration to the Google Fiber team, and we’re committed to continuing our progress in Metro Atlanta communities.”