Verizon has renamed and expanded its free education program

Verizon Innovative Learning, the communications giant’s flagship educational initiative, has renamed and expanded the free curriculum for Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers.

Previously known as two separate programs, Verizon’s new program will operate in partnership with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE). The STEM Achievers program will provide a more inclusive learning environment and provide high school students from underserved communities. The program will create opportunities for students to discover new problem-solving skills and learn about STEM careers.

Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers will continue to provide students with an engaging hands-on experience to learn through design thinking, 3D printing, augmented reality, social entrepreneurship, and mentorship. The program curriculum, developed by Edson Entrepreneurship + Innovation at Arizona State University Institutewill focus on immersive media, smart solutions, digital product innovations and artificial intelligence.

The year-long program will also work with 44 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs), and community colleges across the country.

“One of the core principles of Verizon Innovative Learning STEM Achievers is to expose students to emerging technologies and teach them to think broadly about how technology can make the world a better place,” Alex Servello, director of corporate social responsibility at Verizon, said in a statement. “Since the program launched in 2017, we have been able to reach thousands of students, not only through hands-on learning, but also through mentorships that help them deepen their connection to STEM, as well as strengthen their confidence and their leadership skills outside of the classroom.”

Students and teachers can also take advantage of the Verizon’s Innovative Learning Headquartersa new free, open-access educational portal that evolves the technology company’s innovative learning resources and approach to bringing technology into the classroom.

Portal will give any K-12 teacher nationwide access to Verizon’s innovative learning apps and personalized lesson plans to empower students to create solutions to problems using technology .

In addition to helping students in underserved communities, Verizon’s initiatives also help minority-owned small businesses, young men with a technology background, and students without access to technology.