Lockheed Martin works with STEM students in Prince George’s County

Lockheed Martin, the Prince George’s County school system and the county’s Office of Information Technology have entered into a private-public partnership that will allow students and teachers at three high schools to learn from and share information with each other in a secure, cloud-based environment, county officials announced Wednesday.

The partnership, which will begin at Fairmont Heights, Suitland and High Point high schools, will eventually be expanded to seven high schools inside the beltway that are part of the county’s transforming neighborhoods initiative.

The program, which will include Cisco Systems and Men Aiming Higher, a community-based organization, is designed to give more students access to cutting-edge technology.

County officials said the partnership will allow students in one high school to ask an instructor at another location questions.

“This pilot program allows us to combine our technology expertise and corporate commitment to STEM education and Prince George’s County to give students the necessary tools for academic success and career development,” Vicki Schmanske, Lockheed Martin’s vice president of information technology, said in a statement.

The students will use a cloud-enabled STEM curriculum, will be able to retrieve classroom lessons from mobile devices and engage in Lockheed Martin career stimulation experiences without geographical limitations.

Vennard Wright, director of the county’s Office of Information Technology, said the school system, Lockheed and the county are assessing the schools’ ability to use the system. “We’re making sure smart boards are in the classroom, that instructors know how to teach the curriculum,” he said.

Over the summer, students from the schools will work full time in the county’s IT office helping to build out the cloud.

Wright said the students will work out the kinks in the system.

“In order for us to prove that it works, we have to put it in the hands of those who will work with it,” he said.

Ovetta Wiggins writes about K-12 education.
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