United Way NCA and Deloitte AI Institute for Government Launch 12-Week Virtual STEM Program for Eight Middle Schools in Prince George’s County

Apr 14, 2021

Students Will Experience Engineering and Career Exploration Activities in Human Centered Designed and Artificial Intelligence

WASHINGTON, DC (April 15, 2021)—United Way of the National Capital Area (United Way NCA) today announced it has collaborated with Deloitte’s AI Institute for Government to offer a 12-week virtual STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), one-hour, after-school program for 8 Title 1 middle schools that are part of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Community Schools, including Buck Lodge Middle School. The program is designed to engage students not typically exposed to expanded STEM opportunities to experience unique engineering and career exploration activities in Human Centered Design (HCD) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“One of the pillars of work that your United Way NCA does in the community is to create transformational programs that move us towards more equity in education for our students,” said Rosie Allen-Herring, President and CEO of United Way of the National Capital Area. “Through this new program, we are able to connect 7th and 8th grade students with STEM professionals from Deloitte’s AI Institute for Government. The students have an opportunity to learn more about 21st Century careers in STEM, and just as important, help them see themselves as future professionals and experts in Human Centered Design (HCD) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).”

The program launched the first week of February at Buck Lodge Middle School, Andrew Jackson Academy, Drew Freeman MS, Hyattsville MS, Nicholas Orem, Oxon Hill MS, Samuel Massie Academy, and William Wirt MS. STEM professionals from Deloitte designed and deliver the curriculum virtually to 50 students across the county. The program features topics such as “What it means to be a technologist,” “Introduction to HCD,” “AI Vision, Ethics and Teams,” as well as Conversational AI and its framework, engaging discussions and interactive demonstrations.  PGCPS Community School Coordinators and United Way NCA volunteers serve as coaches to encourage student persistence and engagement.

“We think it’s time to expose students to the specific technologies and trends that are driving opportunity in today’s world,” said Tasha Austin, Advisory Principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP, on behalf of the AI Institute for Government.  “It’s one thing to provide general educational support to students through collaborations like this, but it’s another to give them a straight line into what’s commanding attention and success in the business world. If only current business executives or students at certain schools are getting this, then we are creating unintended disparities.”

Deloitte remains committed to social empowerment by championing opportunities to help communities transform and thrive. The Deloitte AI Institute for Government explores the uses of AI in areas such as education, environment, social welfare and health. Collaborating with United Way NCA, to ignite the curiosity and support the educational development of these students in the field of AI, is the first of many social responsibility efforts planned for the year.

“We are grateful to United Way NCA and Deloitte’s AI Institute for bringing this program to Prince George’s County’s Community Schools,” said Dr. Monica Goldson, Chief Executive Officer, Prince George’s County Public Schools. “The commitment they are making to our schools exemplifies the value they place on our students. The program has already enriched our students’ education and interests and provided an engaging way for them to learn more about STEM.”

“Our students are innately curious and instinctive when it comes to STEM practices just by the nature of growing up surrounded by technology and devices,” said Kenneth Nance, Principal, Buck Lodge Middle School. “To help them unlock their potential is the opportunity to connect what they already know about HCD and AI and associate it with real-world application and career opportunities. When you add to that the mentorship from the Deloitte team, I know our students will walk away with excitement for STEM and new education and career goals to work toward.

About United Way of the National Capital Area

United Way of the National Capital Area fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in the National Capital community. United Way NCA has been improving lives by creating measurable impact in the District of Columbia, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties for more than 45 years. In 2020, United Way NCA was among 384 organizations across the United States to receive a generous transformational investment from novelist and venture philanthropist, MacKenzie Scott. For more information about United Way of the National Capital Area, visit UnitedWayNCA.org.

About Deloitte AI Institute for Government

The Deloitte AI Institute for Government produces groundbreaking research in AI and related technologies to help government use and regulate AI to deliver better services, improve government operations and facilitate the growth of the AI economy. Through publications, events, and workshops, the Institute engages with public officials and academia on a range of issues including algorithmic bias, AI for social good, scaling AI, and the impact of AI on government and its workforce.

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the “Deloitte” name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more about our global network of member firms.