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TCS Partners with USC Viterbi K-12 STEM Center for Virtual goIT

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This fall, roughly 200 students from around Los Angeles participated in a virtual goIT program, creating digital prototypes that solve issues impacting their communities.

This fall, TCS partnered with the University of Southern California’s (USC) Viterbi School of Engineering K-12 STEM Outreach program. Together, we empowered roughly 200 students from around Los Angeles with the skills and confidence to pursue careers in technology through goIT’s App Design and Microcontroller technology pathways.

Throughout the semester, six schools participated in goIT’s App Design or Microcontroller programs. Students were tasked to ideate and design either an app or gadget that would solve or address an issue related to one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

During the program, special guests, like John Zapada, the Chief Information Officer of Petco, dialed in to classroom to provide some words of wisdom to eager future tech professionals. During his particular session, Zapada covered a wide range of topics, from being career ready to words of encouragement, but had a key focus on corporations’ responsibility to reduce their carbon footprint, particularly relevant for the environmental science students from Hawthorne Middle School.

Each school completed the 6-module program experience that concluded with the selection of the top innovations from each campus by an elite panel of judges including: Forever 21 executive, Kevin Diamond, leaders from USC and TCS associates. Each top innovation automatically advanced to the regional competition held on Friday, December 11, in celebration of CSEdWeek, where each campus would compete in the final showcase event for the title of “top goIT innovation in LA”.

The final showcase kicked off with words from the Co-Directors of the K-12 STEM Outreach department, Dr. Darin Gray and Dr. Maja Matarić. Teams were judged by Dr. Gray, alongside TCS HR Manager, Bridget Reeves, and the goIT Global Manager, John DiChiara. The event even included a special presentation from Dr. Saju Skaria, author and global manager with TCS. Dr. Skaria spoke about his humble beginnings and let students know that with grit and willingness to learn, they can do anything.

By the end of the event, the top innovation awards went to the following teams:

  • 1st Place from Florence Nightingale STEM Middle School – The Clean Stream, a gadget that would monitor and clean natural bodies of water so they could be safe for consumption and use
  • 2nd Place from Venice High School – Alleviate, a gadget that would improve agricultural sustainability by monitoring soil health
  • Honorable mention from Boyle Heights STEM Charter – Stemataros with an app, Earth Simulator, which would show the real-time and projected effects of climate change on earth
  • Honorable Mention from Palisades High School – Hidden Justice, a gadget that would keep people safe from crime

It was clear that goIT LA was a highlight for the students and teachers who participated, especially for Jorge Reyes, the facilitator for The Clean Stream.

“Thank you, Tata Consultancy Services and USC Viterbi School of Engineering, for creating an amazing curriculum in goIT and for the partnerships with Los Angeles Schools. Our students became more socially conscious and aware through creating solutions for real-world problems aligned with the UN Sustainability Development Goals. This was a real eye-opening experience for students at the Nightingale STEM Magnet.”

Ready to bring goIT to your classroom? Contact us at goIT@tcsempowers.com to learn more about the program and schedule a training for your facilitators!