January 26, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Mobile apps are already a huge industry, but there’s still plenty of room for growth. That means companies will have a need of skilled programmers and designers to develop those apps in the future. Lenovo and the National Academy Foundation have partnered to make sure that teens in the U.S. will be prepared to become those developers.
Lenovo and the NAF have launched a pilot program at five high-schools that aims to increase interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. A 12-week after-school program will be combined with students’ in-class IT studies to teach app development. Students will form groups that create a wireframe, business plan, and implementation schedule for their app. The program will help participating students not only create the app concept, but build it and pitch why their creation matters as well. Lenovo is donating ThinkPad Tablets to aid the process.
The NAF’s project is an interesting concept that appears to meet a demand according to a survey that Lenovo called our attention to. Omnibus found that 80 percent of American teens are interested in learning how to create an app, and 22 percent recognize that skill as one of the most important to have. (Web development was the must-have skill of the future when I was in high-school, and I was always disappointed that my school didn’t do more to offer classes to push me further along.)
“To succeed in tomorrow’s workforce, students need a solid foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics with fluency in the technologies that will power the global economy. This exciting program engages students via the technology and apps they use every day. By partnering with the National Academy Foundation, we’re delivering a rigorous and relevant curriculum that will help create our next generation of developers and entrepreneurs.” - Michael Schmedlen, worldwide director of education, Lenovo
The National Academy Foundation hopes to deliver the curriculum to all of its schools, but the first to participate in the program are:
- Grover Cleveland High School in New York City
- Downtown Magnets High School in Los Angeles
- Pathways to Technology Magnet School in Hartford, Conn.
- A.J. Moore Academy of Information and Technology in Waco, Texas.