On Tuesday, Lenovo, the National Academy Foundation (NAF) and North Carolina Governor Beverley Perdue joined with Apex High School’s Academy of Information Technology to launch the beginning of an innovative mobile app curriculum program for high school students.
Apex High School is just one of five schools nationwide that is taking part in the pilot program.
The program is a 12-week instructional program that is designed to teach high school students across the nation how to develop and design mobile apps for smart phones and tablets.
The goal of the program is to guide students in the interest of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects, sharpen their skills and better prepare them for a future of success.
“High-tech skills are critical for North Carolina’s pipeline of future workers,” Gov. Perdue said. “Unique partnerships like this one not only give high school students real-world, real-time learning opportunities, but they align with the broader goals of business, education and government to create North Carolina’s next generation of professional leaders.”
According to research by Lenovo, most students have a high interest in mobile apps and see the skill of developing them as a valuable tool. “Last year, 17 billion apps were downloaded, and over the next two years, that number will rise to 138 billion apps being downloaded”, Lenovo Vice President and General Manager Tom Looney said.
However, Lenovo research also shows that students “don’t have confidence that they will have the technology background needed for tomorrow’s workforce.” But the students at Apex High School don’t have that to worry about. Gov. Perdue told the students, “…you all are going to have the opportunity and the skill set to figure out how to develop them. You’ll lead the world.” Also, to help boost that confidence, students and teachers were given more than two dozen ThinkPad Tablets and other Lenovo technology to help initiate the program.
This program will provide a world of possibilities for students at Apex High School and a unique opportunity to gain the knowledge and experience with innovative technology.
“Our schools are strong because we have great partnerships with business and industry,” Anthony Tata, superintendent of the Wake County Public School System said in a statement. “This unique program gives our students practical experience with innovative technology at a time when they’re making decisions about their future careers. We’re creating the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
The program will be applied to a 12-week after-school activity where students will work together in teams to develop an application for Android-based mobile devices.
The program gained interest quickly throughout the high school, and by Tuesday’s launch meeting more than 200 students had already applied.
“This is the new frontier,” Looney said. “We want to look at students’ skill level and help develop and prepare them for college.”
When asked why Lenovo picked Apex High School Looney stated, “It made sense to start here. Start in our own backyard.”