Verizon Helps Maryland School Plant Seeds for STEM

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Office of Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, Verizon, Patriot’s Technology Center and other organizations celebrated the occasion with the teachers, students and staff of James Madison Middle School in Upper Marlboro, Md.  The national Women’s History Month theme, Inspiring Innovation through Imagination: Celebrating Women in STEM, allowed students – particularly 8th grade girls – to be encouraged to excel in science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related courses and to consider professions in those areas.

About 200 female students gathered for a special assembly where they heard from various speakers including Principal Courtney King and two Verizon executives on the importance of STEM.  When the program ended, the rest of the afternoon involved several classes coming to Madison’s media center to play a STEM-related Jeopardy game, visit information tables and watch technology demonstrations.

Verizon’s information technology team was on hand to discuss the significant role robots play and emphasize the real-life, everyday use of robots in society.  The team displayed a set of fully functional robots – each capable of navigating with programmed commands; reporting sensor status with light and sound; and escaping contact by touching using whisker sensors. 

“As a tech company that promotes diversity, Verizon needed to be a part of this Women’s History Month-STEM event at James Madison Middle School,” said Tabb Bishop, Verizon’s vice president of state government affairs for the mid-Atlantic region.  “The students were excited by what they saw and heard, and I was excited that Verizon was able to participate in a meaningful way.  After asking lots of interesting questions, many students said they would consider learning more about STEM fields and careers. 

“Verizon likes to stay engaged in the community,” Bishop added.  “With Verizon’s commitment to diversity, it was important for young women to see that technical and scientific professions are no longer mainly for males.  And who knows?  Maybe some Madison students – female and male alike – will work for Verizon one day.”

During the program, students received Verizon tote bags, water bottles, ear plugs, pens and markers.  Also, the company served healthy snacks as part of an effort to help students consume tasty foods and beverages that help them stay fit while they learn more.