Downers Grove, Ill. — As part of its NextUp initiative to interest teens in tech careers, CompTIA is partnering with the FUSE program at Northwestern University to expand and enrich STEAM learning for middle and high school students around the country.
“NextUp is centered on youth engagement – getting teens to interact with technology and the IT pros that create it,” said Charles Eaton, executive vice president, social innovation, CompTIA. “We’re looking forward to partnering with FUSE with their nationwide reach into schools. Beyond an investment to expand FUSE’s footprint in schools, we’re also recruiting our members and IT pros to work with FUSE and their participating students.”
FUSE is a STEAM (STEM plus Arts) education program that facilitates student exploration and learning through hands-on, interest-driven challenges inspired by real-world STEM and design practices. In FUSE, students work in a studio-like environment, learn through making, and develop 21st century skills such as problem solving, persistence and communication.
“CompTIA is such a great partner for us, because of our aligned goals of helping kids pursue their own interests and develop them towards meaningful futures. The opportunity to draw on CompTIA’s talented and committed pool of potential mentors will also allow us to realize one of the long-standing goals of the FUSE approach—bringing kids into direct contact with professionals doing leading edge work out in the world,” said Reed Stevens, FUSE founder and director as well as professor of learning sciences at Northwestern.
Funded by CompTIA and managed by Creating IT Futures, NextUp will work with FUSE on three levels:
- Challenge Development. The partners will collaborate to build three IT-focused challenges designed to expose youth to various IT professions and career pathways in fun and engaging ways and involve CompTIA members and IT professionals in challenge design and development. The IT challenges will be made available to the FUSE Studio network that includes more than 200 Studios, reaching more than 10,000 students each year.
- FUSE Studios for Schools. CompTIA will fund 21 new FUSE Studios at schools around the country. Schools who wish to host a FUSE Studio must apply by February 24th at https://www.fusestudio.net/comptia-grants. These 21 FUSE Studios will have the potential to serve approximately 1,050 students and 60 teachers.
- Mentoring. The FUSE team will pilot a mentoring program between CompTIA’s IT pros and FUSE students. These mentors could work in FUSE Studios to support facilitators or help to design and direct deeper learning experiences for students. CompTIA members and IT pros can volunteer for the team by contacting Joan Matz.
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s IT industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. To learn more visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
About Creating IT Futures
Founded by CompTIA in 1998, Creating IT Futures is a 501(c)(3) charity with the mission of helping populations under-represented in the information technology industry and individuals who are lacking in opportunity to prepare for, secure, and be successful in IT careers. Learn more at www.CreatingITFutures.org.