New York/Texas: Tata Consultancy Services (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, and Boy Scouts of America (BSA), one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations, have forged a powerful new partnership to engage and inspire youth in hands-on computer science digital technology and career awareness workshops through TCS’ goIT program.
goIT is TCS’ signature community engagement program, where its employees, partners and educators teach computer programming, design theory, robotics, and app development. It is offered free of cost to middle and high school students, covering hands-on technology education and teacher/educator trainings, and mentoring of youth to increase STEM education and career awareness. Students learn icon-based programming languages as they engage in project-based challenges. In turn, goIT participants acquire critical thinking and problem solving skills, while troubleshooting designs and learning in a team environment.
The TCS and BSA partnership will commence in Des Moines, IA, on March 7, for a three-day, co-ed program, engaging Boy Scouts, STEM Scouts, and other partnering organizations. The event will culminate with team presentations and an awards ceremony, where Iowa Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will be on hand to address students.
In anticipation of the Des Moines TCS/BSA goIT event, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds remarked, “Across Iowa, educators, private businesses, after school programs, and non-profits have all embraced the power and energy of STEM. The field is a driver of innovation and entrepreneurialism and is critical to Iowa remaining a competitive state in the future. I applaud TCS and Boy Scouts of America for enabling youth in our great state with programs that provide STEM-based skills and education.”
In addition, Iowa Congressman David Young stated, “STEM based initiatives in Iowa play an important role in helping our students develop critical science and technology skills, and prepare for bright futures, with whatever they choose to do. I am always encouraged when Iowans come together to grow the education and programming opportunities available in our state, and give students the best tools and resources possible.”
Other TCS/BSA programs will take place in Hartford, CT; Columbus, OH; Philadelphia, PA; and Milwaukee, WI, throughout the month of March 2016, with plans for expansion throughout the year.
“The demand for skilled technology talent and digital fluency is on the rise in organizations, the public sector and entrepreneurial ventures across North America. Engaging students in hands-on computer science programs transforms their outlook and prepares them for 21st century careers,” said Surya Kant, President of North America, U.K. and Europe, Tata Consultancy Services. “It is our great pleasure to partner with the Boy Scouts of America to provide more students with digital technology skills that that can help them from college to career.”
Last year, there were more than 600,000 high-paying tech jobs across the United States that were unfilled, and by 2018, 51 percent of all STEM jobs are projected to be in computer science-related fields. Computer science and data science are not only important for the tech sector, but for so many industries, including transportation, healthcare, education, and financial services. Computing occupations are among the highest-paying jobs for new graduates, yet fewer than three percent of college students graduate with a degree in computer science.
“The integration of STEM topics and experiences into the Scouting program is a significant focus for the BSA – especially as we continue to innovate ways to extend Scouting’s values and life-changing experiences to reach more youth,” said Dr. Trent Nichols, BSA program development department manager and national director of STEM programs. “New programs such as STEM Scouts are designed to be fast-paced, thought-provoking, and fun. Kids learn how to apply STEM in their everyday lives and toward future careers.”
Since its launch in 2009, goIT has engaged nearly 10,000 North American students across 26 cities and more than 100 school districts, providing high-impact skill building and computer science programming for students, particularly those those from underserved groups, minorities and girls. More than 70 percent of goIT participants reported an increased interest in STEM disciplines, 42 percent were girls, and goIT program sites reported a 27 percent increase in high school students choosing STEM disciplines in college as a result of such engagement.
TCS is leading cross-sector efforts to expand diversity and access to computer science education, including its founding partnership of STEM mentoring programs such as US2020 and Million Women Mentors, and its ongoing work with partners such as NPower, NCWIT, TeachCS, Teach for America, National 4H Council, the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and STEMconnector®. The pro-bono technology platforms developed by TCS for US2020, MWM, NPower, LeadCS.org, and IMPACT 2030 empowers a network of more than half a million young people and 300 organizations serving students across 35 U.S. states. Moreover, TCS’ national CS Roundtables bring together experts from industry, academia, government, and non-profit sectors annually to take stock of education efforts, and identify scalable, replicable programs that effectively motivate and prepare students for CS careers.
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