Business leaders to select winners of Chicago STEM competition

Business leaders to select winners of Chicago STEM competition

Student Web Creators to Unveil Websites Created for Local Businesses

On Saturday, June 4, Chicago-based Lumity presents the inaugural “2016 SBE Competition,” an event that is a culmination of the efforts of local business partners and some newly tech-savvy teenage entrepreneurs, which reveals the valuable impact of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training with some fascinating results.

The Student-Based Enterprise (SBE) Competition runs from 10am to 1pm at the offices of Accenture at 161 N. Clark Street. It is open to the media and will be attended by the students, parents, small business owners, and the partners who made the event possible, including: Accenture – a leading global professional services company; Chicagoland Workforce Funders Alliance; The Rogers Park Business Alliance; Slalom Consulting; Tableau Consulting; and CompTIA.

For more than three decades, Lumity has been providing technology and finance consulting services to nonprofits and digital literacy programs to improve the socio-economic conditions of lower-income neighborhoods. Their SBE program trains high school juniors and seniors to develop WordPress websites for local nonprofits and small businesses as a way to prepare them for employment and to expose them to STEM careers.

Lumity is lighting the way by providing real-life work experience to spark an interest in STEM studies, and the vital growth of this programming means more kids will discover and focus on education, improve aptitude, and succeed after school because of their occupational experience.

“The SBE Program, which launched in November 2015, offers a critical link from classroom to workplace by allowing the students to pitch web services to prospective clients and charge a fee for their work,” explains Lumity Executive Director, Kara Kennedy. “The primary objective is to empower the students to use technology to solve business and community problems. As the work progresses, the students learn firsthand how STEM connects to their everyday lives. They start to think and behave like innovators, technologists, and business people.”

A 12-week STEM program held earlier in 2015 sprouted a viable year-round business that affects Chicago’s underserved communities. With help from Lumity’s IT partners and industry leaders, students learned not only the required technical training in mere months, but also the business behind the business, such as how to create, design, market and sell, as well as manage and streamline operations and onboard new clientele. They are currently backlogged with client opportunities and orders.

“The competition creates interest in STEM among women and minorities—groups that are often underrepresented in STEM careers,” said Jim Coleman, managing director of the Accenture Chicago office. “This competition also shines a light on the variety of skills these teens have learned to prepare them for the workplace such as teamwork, communication, attention to detail, and organizational skills.”

RP Webcreators was launched as a result of the Lumity program, and is comprised of juniors and seniors from Lake View High School and Chicago Math and Science Academy. They take a giant step forward in their tech careers at the SBE Competition as they reveal the web solutions created for their clientele made up of Rogers Park businesses.

Their efforts will be judged by a panel of Chicago business leaders. Teams are judged on a variety of components including their ability to communicate client business challenges, project plans, and a demonstration of their clients’ newly enhanced web presences. The award presentations take place at the end of the event.

To learn more about RP Webcreators team, visit RPWebcreators.com.

[Download PDF of press release.]

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