Tony Tagliavia, Media Manager – Milwaukee Public Schools
Washington is the only school in the Midwest selected for the Lenovo Scholar Network
MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee Public Schools’ Washington High School of Information Technology is one of only 10 schools across the country – and the only one in the Midwest – selected to receive a mobile application development and entrepreneurship curriculum aimed at empowering the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs.
The program, created by the nonprofit education group National Academy Foundation and technology firm Lenovo, means Washington students will receive instruction based upon the rich curriculum the program offers. And then they’ll put it to work.
As part of the Lenovo Scholar Network, the students will design and develop a mobile app working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) “App Inventor” developers. They will also create a business plan for taking the app to market.
“We’re honored to be one of 10 schools in the nation to be able to provide our students with this exciting, hands-on opportunity to broaden their knowledge of information technology and strengthen their preparation for college and careers,” Washington Principal Tonya Adair said. “This is another important piece in the strong information technology programming our students can access.”
Washington High School of Information Technology offers a National Academy Foundation Information Technology Academy that includes seven IT courses. Ninety new students were recently inducted into the academy. The school also partners with local businesses to provide job shadowing opportunities and hosts a twice-annual Information Technology and engineering career fair.
Washington students have interned at major local firms including Direct Supply, Northwestern Mutual and MPS’ own technology department. Last summer more than 50 WHS students were involved in these internships. Recent graduates have gone on to study IT at destinations including Concordia University Wisconsin, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Waukesha County Technical College.
Now the school will have a new avenue to continue to grow students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and to help prepare students for college and career success.
In addition to the curriculum and support from MIT, Washington will receive Lenovo tablets and laptops to implement the curriculum and aid the students in the development and testing of their app.
Media interested in seeing Washington’s IT program are welcome to contact MPS media manager Tony Tagliavia by phone or email. Media are also invited to visit the school at its next iFair on November 11. The school will host IT and engineering firms from around the city as well as more than 500 students from other MPS schools throughout the day.
“With NAF we provide 21st-century learning and entrepreneurial leadership development that will help create the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs through the Lenovo Scholar Network,” said Jay Parker, president, Lenovo North America. “The program course work and practical experience provides the students with key technical skills and also the critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration skills that will enable them to emerge as the change leaders of tomorrow.”
“Our collaboration with companies like Lenovo supports our goal of graduating more students college and career ready, particularly in the growing STEM industries,” said JD Hoye, president, NAF. “The Lenovo Scholar Network is a prime example of how businesses and education can work together to provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s fast-paced world.”