Santa Clara, Calif.-basedSilicon Valley Bank has partnered with several institutions to help teach school-age children how to code and to increase their proficiency in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
The bank has joined with the Level Playing Field Institute to create a competition where more than 250 6-12th graders in the San Francisco Bay Area from low income and minority groups will compete to win cash prizes for the best app, judged by a panel of investors, technologists and educators. Each participating student will also receive a free Datawind Ubislate 3G Tablet, courtesy of Silicon Valley Bank and three months of a 1 GB Wireless Data Plan, courtesy of AT&T.
Further, Silicon Valley Bank has joined up with several foundations and businesses throughout Virginia to introduce middle and high school students to computer coding. Students will be given access to computer application development software and challenged to build a working computer app, and those who are successful within the time frame of a school semester will be recognized in January 2014 for their success, earn a digital badge for their career portfolio, and given a Datawind Ubislate 3G Tablet, the bank said.
According to Silicon Valley, initiatives such as these are integral to creating the next generation of tech-savvy skilled workers. "With a continued emphasis on STEM skills we can put people to work, stay competitive globally and keep developing the technologies, medicines, devices and innovations that are solving human problems and improving the quality of people's lives," added Greg Becker, president and CEO of Silicon Valley Bank, in a statement.