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Image courtesy of AT&T.
Image courtesy of AT&T.

WNY STEM Hub announces openings for 'Hand in Hand Powered by AT&T' summer program


Mon, Jun 29th 2020 02:05 pm

39 students will create prosthetic hands, wheelchairs in ongoing project with AT&T

WNY STEM Hub and AT&T are currently seeking 39 public school students from across Western New York entering grades 6-12 to participate in the free science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) “Hand in Hand Powered by AT&T” summer program where they will create prosthetic hands for local youth and area veterans.

In a new addition to the program – and in response to community need –students will also fabricate personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, patients and their family members at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and design and produce two open wheelchairs.

“Hand in Hand Powered by AT&T” will be held at the Health Sciences Charter School the weeks of Aug. 3 and 10. It is one of very few such programs operating this summer.

With AT&T’s and the Garman Family Foundation’s investment, WNY STEM Hub is able to expand the project and the number of students participating this summer in “Hand in Hand Powered by AT&T.” The program is free for all youth who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Students will be separated into beginners and advanced groups. Nine local tech-savvy students entering grades 9-12 in the 2020-21 academic year will be selected and trained as Project leaders for a total of two weeks in the program. These nine students will receive a week of ½ day trainings from WNY STEM staff and collaborating partners in leadership and technology skills, community service learning and use of online open source resources at e-NABLE and Open Wheelchair.

An additional 30 public school youth from across the region entering grades 6-9 will participate for one week in an immersive experience that includes basic anatomy and an introduction to careers in medical technology, 3-D printing and fabrication, engineering design, computer coding, disability awareness, leadership skills and service learning. Scheduling is shown below. To register, visit https://wnystem.org/2020/06/announcing-hand-in-hand-program-2020/. The deadline to register is July 13. For more information, email [email protected] or call 716-829-9035.

The 2020 “Hand in Hand Powered by AT&T” summer program features a few new elements. This year, for the first time, the WNY STEM Hub will work with a local veterans organization with students creating a prosthetic hand for an area veteran. Students will also originate and generate two open wheelchairs this fall for local youths in need.

A press release stated, “First launched in 2017, the ‘Hand in Hand’ program is a signature project of the WNY STEM Hub. AT&T is the lead partner and collaborator due to its strong focus on STEM-based educational programs through AT&T Aspire, its $500 million philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by providing diverse resources including funding, technology, employee volunteerism and mentoring.

“The WNY STEM Hub, along with AT&T, underscores the research that shows early exposure to science, technology, engineering and math enables students to participate in an increased number of STEM careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor, much growth in the domestic and global economy will come from STEM-related jobs, a highly lucrative and competitive field. It is estimated this this year there will be 2.4 million unfilled STEM jobs in the U.S. In this vein, the WNY STEM Hub and AT&T have prioritized working with students in the City of Buffalo – and other urban areas – to expand opportunities for youth in these rapidly growing, high earning fields of employment.”

In a further expansion of the program through the partnership with AT&T and the Garman Family Foundation, an additional 20 students in grades 9-12 will be recruited to participate in the fall section of the “Hand in Hand Powered by AT&T” project (pending plans for school openings) to be administered on Saturdays. The fall sessions will be held to enhance learning, skill development and continued use of technology tools in development of PPE, building wheelchairs and other projects based on interest of the students.

The press release noted, “A total of 59 youth will benefit from ‘Hand in Hand Powered by AT&T’ and fulfill WNY STEM Hub’s and AT&T’s overarching project goal to support underserved students in developing technical, medical, leadership, service learning and disability awareness skills through a social action 3-D printing project where they design, fabricate and produce functional prosthetic hands/devices and open wheelchairs for local youth and veterans in need and personal protective equipment for area health care providers.

WNY STEM Hub will follow all CDC and state safety guidelines for the program, and health checks will be in place. Temperature checks, a nurse on staff, social distancing, and thorough disinfecting will be in effect.

“Hand in Hand Powered by AT&T” summer program schedule:

√ Advanced/project team leaders – grades 9-12 – will attend both weeks of the program.

  • Week 1: Aug. 3-7, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Week 2: Aug. 10-14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

√ Beginner group – grades 6-9 – will attend week 2 only

  • Group 1: Aug. 10-14, 9 a.m. to noon
  • Group 2: Aug. 10-14, 1-4 p.m.

To register, visit https://wnystem.org/2020/06/announcing-hand-in-hand-program-2020/.

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