M.S. 358 and I.S. 145 were two of six schools honored with a Diversity in Tech awards.
Students developed concept for original apps to address issues in their communities in partnership with the New York-based tech education nonprofit Mouse.org.
“We implemented this program with our entire 6th grade, which is about 100 students, during their technology class periods,” said M.S. 358 teacher Narin Prum. “We met with students twice a week and assigned work on other days.”
One student group at I.S. 145 in Jackson Heights designed an app for tenant and landlord communication. The app was inspired by an interview the students held with Andrew Sokolf Diaz, president of the 89th Street Tenants Association after a fire in the building displaced residents.
“I’m really hopeful about the future of our students seeing all the creative solutions they came up with as they were interviewing people in our community,” said Pauline Kim, a teacher at I.S. 145.
Meanwhile, a student group in M.S. 358 in Hillcrest created the Feed Poverty End Poverty app. Anyone in need of food can sign up to receive free food.
During the COVID-19 crisis, Mouse trained over 8,000 NYC public school teachers across all five boroughs to be remote educators and keep students learning during the pandemic.
“The proportion of women, Black, and Latinx employees at tech firms in the United States is lower than the private sector average,” said Larry Lieberman, CEO of Mouse.org. “At Mouse, it is our highest priority to prepare historically excluded and underrepresented communities for leadership careers in STEM.”