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Central State, Verizon To Teach Male Students Coding, 3D Design, Entrepreneurship

Central State University

In this WYSO Weekend excerpt, Central State University's Edwina Blackwell-Clark outlines a program that will train young, minority males in coding,  3D design, and Entrepreneurship this summer. See more details below.

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Central State University is one of 12 institutions to offer the Verizon Minority Male Makers Program. The free program, which includes a two­ week residential summer camp experience and instruction throughout the school year, is designed to increase technology proficiency and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects and careers.

The innovative program, first launched in 2015 at four Historically Black Colleges and Universities, exposes young African American and Latino male students to coding software, 3D printers, and entrepreneurship skills. The program also pairs the young men with mentors from the University for continued learning and support throughout the school year.

“As a mother of two sons, I am well aware of the challenges that African American males struggle with today. We created the Minority Male Makers program to provide these young men with STEM skills, because I have seen firsthand how exposure to technology can open their eyes to a brighter future they thought was out of their reach. We’ve already seen amazing results, and we can’t wait to see how they’ll change the world,” said Justina Nixon Saintil, director of Education Programs at Verizon.

Dr. Abiodun Fasoro, Assistant Professor of Manufacturing Engineering at Central State University, said, “Middle school students are very creative. Our goal is to create an enabling environment where these kids can freely exhibit their ingenuities by designing and creating stuff. We want them to work collaboratively to come up with innovative solutions to business and societal problems.”

In the first year of Verizon’s Minority Male Makers program, more than 580 products including apps and 3D printed objects were designed and created by students. 

Central State will recruit rising 6th, through 8thgraders to participate. The residential summer camp, which starts June 19, will include field trips and sporting and recreational activities. Students within a 40­mile radius of the Wilberforce campus and CSU­Dayton locations can also apply.

Students will build mobile apps using the MIT Apps Inventor 2 platform. Participants will also use 3D laser scanning as a tool for Reverse Engineering. Students will create virtual 3D models from an existing physical object and those 3D models will eventually be sent to a 3D printer to build.

As part of the program, five middle school science/technology teachers will spend two weeks of intensive instruction on 3D printing, additive manufacturing and reverse engineering. To encourage the continuation of the curriculum, Central State will loan out 3D printers to the schools to be utilized in their classrooms.

Central State’s Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping Laboratory is one of the best equipped in Ohio. The lab is equipped with state­of­the­art equipment for additive manufacturing of metallic components/parts as well as dimensional and mechanical characterization of AM parts. The University’s EOSINT M280 Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) system is only one of a few located at universities in Ohio. For more information on the program, please call (937) 376­6401.