Verizon STEM Summer Camp A Success
Written by Alina Hernandez and Photography by L. Kasimu Harris | Communications and
NEW ORLEANS, La. (June 7) – Dillard University and Verizon Foundation are capping off a summer of science,
technology, engineering and math (STEM) Monday, July 10 at 3:30 p.m. at the Lawless
Chapel with a closing ceremony for families and students who attended the Verizon
Innovative Learning camp.
Verizon Innovative Learning, the education initiative of the Verizon Foundation, partnered
with Dillard University under a $360,000 grant designed to expose middle school boys
to STEM-related fields. About 80 campers attended two, two-week sessions in June and
The program was Louisiana’s first STEM program with special emphasis on technological
literacy, competency and proficiency, specifically for middle school boys. The idea
was to diversify the field of STEM with more than just innovation and technology,
said Dillard’s Director of Development Kimberly Woodard.
“This was an incredible opportunity for local students to have hands-on experience with science and technology. Now they can see themselves working in a STEM field. They can imagine the possibilities.”
The program was free to middle school students of color who were in the New Orleans
Public School System. The boys received hands-on experience with advanced technology,
including coding, 3-D design and printing, robotics and virtual reality.
Dillard and the Verizon Foundation will offer the camps again next summer under the
grant, said Woodard. This year, the response was overwhelming, with both sessions
full and generating a wait list.
“We were extremely happy with the camps’ success,” said Dr. Lovell Agwaramgbo, the
Chairman of STEM and Professor of Chemistry at Dillard who coordinated the Verizon
program. “The partnership with Verizon was an incredible opportunity for a young group
of students eager to learn. Early exposure to the sciences and technology can only
open a world of possibilities for them.”