National 4‑H Council today announced a $500,000 grant from Lockheed Martin to bring computer science education to underserved youth in five communities where Lockheed Martin has a significant presence: Colorado Springs, Colorado; Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas; King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; Moorestown, New Jersey; and the San Francisco Bay Area, California.
The grant will support the establishment of teen-led computer science clubs and that will engage young people in in-depth, year-round computer science programming. The clubs will allow 4‑H teens to build both technical and leadership skills as they learn CS concepts and are given opportunities to teach them to younger kids. The clubs will also focus on career exploration and understanding real-world applications of CS skills through sustained interaction with Lockheed Martin engineers.
“Lockheed Martin is deeply committed to helping equip the next generation with skills in computer science,” said Lockheed Martin Chief Information Officer Jim Connelly. “This investment in 4‑H will inspire and support students who, in just a few years, will be the heart of our nation’s workforce where computer science skills will prove invaluable.”
Without access to CS education, young people are missing out on a tremendous opportunity for economic advancement as industries are starved for the talent they need to drive technological progress. This grant is designed to help make those opportunities accessible to more young people, reaching populations that have traditionally struggled with access to CS education and helping to build a talent pipeline to tomorrow’s workforce.
Over the last nine years, Lockheed Martin has supported 4‑H in launching hundreds of robotics and engineering clubs across the country and reaching over a million young people with hands-on STEM projects through National Youth Science Day. The grant builds upon the success of that work, and is an extension of the STEM Futures partnership National 4‑H Council and Lockheed Martin launched in 2015, aimed at increasing diversity in STEM among minority youth and girls.