Funding, Grants & Awards

Lenovo Scholar Network Grows to 30 Schools

Lenovo and the National Academy Foundation are tripling the number of institutions involved in its Lenovo Scholar Network program.

Jumping from 10 schools in last year's inaugural program, this year students from 30 high schools around the United States will use free Lenovo ThinkPad laptops and Yoga tablets to develop new mobile apps.

While last year's program involved about 400 students around the country, this year more than 1,000 will participate in coding, testing and developing their own apps.

The program intended to encourage the next generation of developers and entrepreneurs will also offer students access to Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab’s App Inventor, a Web-based tool that allows them to create and test Android apps. For the first time this year, teachers will get self-guided courses on App Inventor, in-person training and the ability to consult with MIT staff members.

At the end of the school year, all participants will be offered the opportunity to participate in a national competition for the best app. Last year, 20 apps were submitted and five finalists attended the NAF Next conference in Anaheim, CA, in July.

All the teams were from career-themed academies that are part of a National Academy Foundation (NAF) network of institutions designed to provide opportunities for underserved high school students. The five winning teams developed apps designed to do everything from improve student study habits to help school nurses communicate better with parents of diabetic students. The winning app was WHS Bowling from the Washington High School of Information Technology in Milwaukee, which designed a game that serves as a platform to promote positive messages and behaviors for teenagers.

"We are excited to enable this new class of scholars with the technology and skills they need to help them become the next generation of developers and innovators," said Lenovo North America Vice President of Public Sector Jason Mooneyham.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.