The Problem

The digital divide is only growing and it needs to be addressed.
Students in the K-12 education system are not getting the quality and experiences to STEM education that they deserve.
The digital divide worsens in underserved communities where students typically have a lack of opportunity, career training, and access to higher education. Poverty has increased in number and proportion with 44% of school enrollment participating in the free and reduced lunch program, a 24% increase since 2000. All of these factors only increase the gap in the mission to educate more students in underserved communities and to expose them to STEM experiences and careers.

Early exposure to math and science has a bigger impact on students' interest in STEM than math achievement. In addition, it has been found that early exposure and positive experiences in math and science predicts later success and interest in STEM fields.

Nationally, STEM occupations are projected to grow more quickly than the economy as a whole (17% versus 10% through 2018) and will be the second-fastest growing occupational cluster, after Healthcare occupations. Overall, STEM occupations pay well at all educational levels. People in STEM occupations with a high school diploma or less have higher lifetime earnings than people in other occupations with similar education levels (approx. $500,000 more).

Similarly, STEM majors make substantially more over their lifetime than non-STEM majors. The United States is not producing enough STEM workers to compete successfully in the global economy especially in the age of Technology & Engineering, despite the fact that STEM workers are in demand and paid comparatively higher wages.

The AppJam+ Solution

  • Hands-on and minds-on lessons for students
  • Concepts that are applied to our everyday lives
  • Bridge ethnic and gender gaps in STEM fields
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Instill creativity and imagination
  • Outreach to several school districts

  • AppJam+ provides middle school students the chance to work collaboratively in teams of three to five and to have mentorship from college students at UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton majoring in Computer Science. Students take their mobile application through the creative process from brainstorming to task specialization to fully executing their design and presenting their final product.

    "In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past."

    National Science Foundation