Milwaukee Students Brew Innovation at goIT
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) teamed up with The Boy Scouts of America’s Three Harbors Council to lead a five-day goIT seminar in Milwaukee, WI. Three dozen 7th and 8th grade students from St. Anthony and St. Vincent Pallotti attended the event. goIT, TCS’ signature community initiative in STEM and Computer Science, engages young people through computational thinking to uncover technology based solutions to issues affecting their communities.
St. Anthony enrolls 2,000 K-12 students across five campuses on Milwaukee’s historic south side. Students are primarily Latino, in fact, many are first-generation American and come from moderate to low-income households. St. Vincent Pallotti serves students from underprivileged communities all over Milwaukee, many of whom qualify for free/reduced price lunch.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett attended the first day and summarized goIT’s impact, “The more you know about Computer Science the more attractive you become as a potential employee.” He also noted how employers are looking for people who understand technology and can keep pace with the digital space since it is evolving so quickly. Barrett continued, “I would love to see young people in this city doing exactly what you’re doing because I think the opportunities are there. I think our economy requires it and I think the future of our city requires it.”
After Mayor Barrett’s remarks, students and volunteers brainstormed app ideas.
The ideation session proved galvanizing, students examined problems not only affecting them individually but also happening globally. The kids felt empowered to know they can create something that benefits their community. Next, the attendees split into teams, then delved into creating storyboards and drag and drop coding. One middle schooler revealed this program helped fulfill a personal goal.
TCS volunteers provided guidance on how to effectively present and pitch ideas, while Telemundo captured students hard at work. On the last day of the event, groups presented their apps to a panel of eight extremely accomplished leaders from Milwaukee’s public, private and non-profit sectors to judge. The top three apps included two anti-bullying concepts.
Our time in Milwaukee strengthened our goal of providing youth an opportunity to achieve and prosper through hard work, determination, and initiative. As a company, TCS recognizes that computational thinking is an essential skill for all jobs in the future. Students who gain proficiency in computational thinking can be next level innovators and effectively pursue a variety of careers.
Want more information on goIT? Please visit www.ignitemyfuture.org and stay tuned for more stories about how TCS’ initiatives are impacting students across North America!