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(Images courtesy of AT&T)
(Images courtesy of AT&T)

WNY STEM Hub announces openings for AT&T's free 'Hand in Hand' summer program

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Wed, Jun 30th 2021 05:00 pm

55 students will create prosthetic hands and adaptative devices for local children, under-resourced adult residents, veterans & seniors

WNY STEM Hub and AT&T are seeking 55 public school and underrepresented students from across Western New York entering grades 7-12 to participate in the digital literacy and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-focused AT&T “Hand in Hand” summer program where they will create prosthetic hands and other adaptive devices for children, under-resourced adult residents, veterans and seniors.

New this year, the program has been extended to three weeks, and students will be making adaptive devices and modifications to existing adaptative devices for locals in need. The young participants will also make prosthetic hands for children in Ghana, Tanzania and Nigeria.

The AT&T “Hand in Hand” program will be held at the Health Sciences Charter School in Buffalo the weeks of Aug. 2 and 13. With AT&T’s investment, WNY STEM Hub has been able to expand the program and the number of students participating this summer. The program is free for all students, with a priority for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Students will be assigned to beginner and advanced groups. Fifteen local, tech-savvy advanced students entering grades 11-12 in the 2021-22 academic year will be selected and trained as project leaders for a total of three weeks in the program. These 15 students will receive a week of half-day trainings from WNY STEM Hub staff and collaborating partners in leadership and technology skills, community service learning and use of online open-source resources at e-NABLE during the week of July 26.

An additional 40 public school students from across the region entering grades 7-12 will participate for two weeks in an immersive experience that includes basic anatomy, digital literacy, rehabilitative sciences, biomedical technology, 3-D printing and fabrication, engineering design, computer coding, disability awareness, leadership skills and service learning. The students will learn in groups how to design, fabricate and produce functional prosthetic hands and adaptative devices.

To register, visit https://www.wnystem.org/. The deadline to register is July 12. For more information, email [email protected] or call 716-829-9035.

Any youth, veterans, seniors and under-resourced residents interested in volunteering to take part in the program as a recipient of a newly designed prosthetic hand or an adaptative device can contact Simone Ragland at [email protected] or 716-830-9035. Time requirement for a recipient participant consists of a few hours a couple of days during the week of August to meet with students and staff to be measured and discuss design and functionality needs for a prosthetic hand or adaptative device.

The program will also partner with the Belle Center to provide 20 middle school students a unique exploratory AT&T “Hand in Hand” program for the week of July 12. The program is designed to provide students an introduction to the program and the technology involved. Participants also will learn age-appropriate digital literacy skills to help with academic success and advance digital justice.

In a further expansion of the program through the partnership with AT&T, an additional 20 high school students will be recruited to participate in a fall AT&T “Hand in Hand” project 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 additional prosthetic hands, adaptative devices and other projects based on interest of the students.

AT&T’s partnership with WNY STEM Hub in this program is part of the company’s legacy of supporting educational programs focused on digital literacy and STEM disciplines in New York through AT&T Aspire, the company’s signature, $600 million philanthropic initiative that leverages technology and social innovation to help give people – regardless of age, gender, race or socioeconomic status – the opportunity to succeed. Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on advancing education, creating opportunities, strengthening communities and improving lives, particularly amongst historically underserved populations, by creating new learning environments and educational delivery systems that promotes racially equity in academic and economic achievement.

A press release stated, “Programs like AT&T ‘Hand and Hand’ are vital for the youth because, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor, much of the growth in the domestic and global economy will come from STEM-related jobs. It is estimated that, by 2025, there will be 3.5 million STEM-related jobs in the U.S., underscoring the importance of providing the youth the tools and skills necessary to compete in this innovation economy.

“More than 80 local students will benefit from one of the programs associated with AT&T ‘Hand in Hand’ and fulfill WNY STEM Hub’s and AT&T’s overarching project goal to support underrepresented and under-resourced students in developing digital literacy.”

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.

Visit www.wnystem.org.

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