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Verizon Innovative Learning Program Returns to San Joaquin Delta College

Following a successful first year, the Verizon Innovative Learning Program will return to San Joaquin Delta College this summer to give more than 100 girls from the Stockton Unified School District the opportunity to participate in an immersive experience designed to introduce them to many aspects of STEM fields.

The Verizon Innovative Learning Program includes courses in augmented and virtual reality, coding, 3D design, entrepreneurship, and design thinking principles. Following last year’s pilot program, 50-60 of the participants continued meeting monthly as a cohort to reinforce what they learned and keep the momentum going after the camp ended.

Megan Smith, the program’s lead teacher, said she has been consistently impressed by how much the students retain and how engaged they remain more than six months after the summer camp ended.

“We have done some great activities, including a community service project where the girls used an online platform to write STEM books for a kindergarten class,” Smith said. “They have also done some programming with Spheros and completed a maze challenge with the Spheros.”

Delta College CTE and Workforce, Community Education, IT team and student volunteers helped make the camp run smoothly and quickly, resolving any issues that the girls encountered. With some of those bugs out of the way, Smith said she feels much more prepared heading into this summer’s program.

Reflecting on last year’s event, Smith is inspired by how much confidence the girls gained and how much they benefited from the immersive experience and the program’s unstructured format. She looks forward to seeing that transformation in a new cohort this summer.

“The girls just eat up all of the STEM ideas and projects,” Smith said. “They walk away with so much more than what they began with, both in STEM and in their confidence as girls in STEM.”

In fact, Deputy Sector Navigator Alese Campbell noted that the girls’ post-camp survey results were above average in several areas compared with other participating schools. “The Verizon Foundation was very pleased with the results,” she said. “The girls showed a big improvement and interest in STEM and going to college.”

Click here to see some of the exciting activities the girls participated in. For more information on the Verizon Innovative Learning Program at San Joaquin Delta College, contact Alese Campbell, Business and Entrepreneurship Deputy Sector Navigator for the Central Valley/Mother Lode Region at alese.campbell@deltacollege.edu.


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