Area students from groups underrepresented in technology fields will soon be able to address real-world problems and prepare for careers of the future, thanks to a new collaboration of Bowie State University with the Prince George’s County school system and government announced today.
Bowie State University is set to develop agreements with the county school system and government to expand its signature college pipeline program, Education Innovation Initiative (EI2). The new partnerships will establish programs to engage high school students in building skills to keep pace with global workforce demands in emerging markets and become industry leaders.
Launched by the Maryland Center at Bowie State University in spring 2013, EI2 is a college pipeline initiative that provides BSU students with hands-on experience in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) using an interdisciplinary approach and linkages with industry partners providing a path to career opportunities. The initial program with county schools will be a year-round capstone challenge allowing teams of 11th and 12th graders to compete to propose solutions to real-world industry problems. They will work alongside BSU student mentors and industry partners, such as Lockheed Martin, which was integral in the development of EI2.
“The Education Innovation Initiative will enhance Bowie State University’s ability to recruit, retain and graduate more students to excel in the workforce of tomorrow,” said BSU President Mickey L. Burnim. “This new partnership with the Prince George’s County government and school system will also strengthen our ability to reach minority and female students to help close the achievement gap.”
EI2 will ultimately target county students from Pre-K through grade 12 with enhanced technology experiences and encouragement to pursue college education. By engaging students in real-world projects with government and industry partners, EI2 will also introduce them to next-generation technologies in cloud computing, cyber security, mobility, and big data analytics. One example is the FlexPod by NetApp and Cisco, a device with the capacity to operate multiple data networks that BSU students have already begun to configure. Donated to Bowie State by Lockheed Martin, the FlexPod will provide computing power to enable students to tackle multiple projects.