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Ford Donates Laptops to Girls in Engineering Academy

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A student with the Girls in Engineering Academy poses with a laptop donated by Ford
Ford’s laptop donation helps girls from the Metro Detroit area
Photo: Ford

Ford Motor Company donated more than 40 laptops to the Girls in Engineering Academy in February. This is just the latest effort on Ford’s part to help provide young women better access to tools and resources related to the science, technology, engineering, and math fields.

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Girls in Engineering Academy was developed by The Engineering Society of Detroit with the goal of helping middle-school-age girls make it to college. The program launched in 2017 and recently moved all offerings online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gerald O. Thompkins, program director for GEA, says that Ford’s donation will help close the gap for students from underserved communities and lower-income families. The program focuses in particular on supporting girls from the Metro Detroit area.

“According to recent research by the National Center for Education Statistics, 67 percent of white students were likely to use the internet, but just 47 percent of African American students, 44 percent of Hispanic students, and 58 percent of Asian-American students were likely to do so. Internet connectivity and access remains problematic for many Detroit families,” Thompkins said.

GEA boasts a retention rate of around 85 percent out of an annual class of about 30. In addition to full-year programs, the academy offers a four-week summer course focused specifically on engineering.

Students meet Digit at laptop pickup event

Two students pose for a photo with the Digit delivery robot
Two students have their photo taken with Digit, the Boston Dynamics robot
Photo: Ford

At the laptop distribution event, Ford showed off Digit, its humanoid delivery robot, to help show students what’s possible thanks to STEM. Students attending the event learned about how Digit was made and what it can do and had the opportunity to take photos with the robot.

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