"NextUp is centered on youth engagement – getting teens to interact with technology and the IT pros that create it," said Charles Eaton, executive vice president, social innovation, CompTIA. "We're looking forward to partnering with FUSE with their nationwide reach into schools. Beyond an investment to expand FUSE's footprint in schools, we're also recruiting our members and IT pros to work with FUSE and their participating students."
FUSE is a STEAM (STEM plus Arts) education program that facilitates student exploration and learning through hands-on, interest-driven challenges inspired by real-world STEM and design practices. In FUSE, students work in a studio-like environment, learn through making, and develop 21st century skills such as problem solving, persistence and communication.
"CompTIA is such a great partner for us, because of our aligned goals of helping kids pursue their own interests and develop them towards meaningful futures. The opportunity to draw on CompTIA's talented and committed pool of potential mentors will also allow us to realize one of the long-standing goals of the FUSE approach—bringing kids into direct contact with professionals doing leading edge work out in the world," said Reed Stevens, FUSE founder and director as well as professor of learning sciences at Northwestern.
Funded by CompTIA and managed by Creating IT Futures, NextUp will work with FUSE on three levels:
- Challenge Development. The partners will collaborate to build three IT-focused challenges designed to expose youth to various IT professions and career pathways in fun and engaging ways and involve CompTIA members and IT professionals in challenge design and development. The IT challenges will be made available to the FUSE Studio network that includes more than 200 Studios, reaching more than 10,000 students each year.
- FUSE Studios for Schools. CompTIA will fund 21 new FUSE Studios at schools around the country. Schools who wish to host a FUSE Studio must apply by February 24th at https://www.fusestudio.net/comptia-grants. These 21 FUSE Studios will have the potential to serve approximately 1,050 students and 60 teachers.
- Mentoring. The FUSE team will pilot a mentoring program between CompTIA's IT pros and FUSE students. These mentors could work in FUSE Studios to support facilitators or help to design and direct deeper learning experiences for students. CompTIA members and IT pros can volunteer for the team by contacting Joan Matz at email@example.com.
Creating IT Futures
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