LANSING (WWJ) — The board of directors of the Comerica Charitable Foundation has approved a $500 grant in support of technology classes at the Information Technology Empowerment, a Lansing nonprofit offering classes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The grant will support ITEC’s youth after-school programs and summer camps, which increase at-risk, K-12 students’ interest and proficiency in the STEM disciplines through the use of innovative, IT-based tools.

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ITEC provides Lansing youth with after-school classes and summer camps centered on activities such as Lego robotics, video game design, and digital filmmaking. These high-interest subjects capture students’ imaginations, instilling a positive perception of STEM that fuels their continued learning. ITEC classes also encourage problem solving, teamwork, communication and creativity.

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The project focuses on youth in their late elementary and middle school years, a time when many students lose interest in STEM subjects. In the coming year, ITEC aims to serve 975 youth in the late elementary and middle school years within the Capitol Region and Greater Flint region at an average of 20 hours of instruction per student.

“By partnering with Comerica we can continue to improve STEM learning, reduce the digital divide, develop qualified employees for growing local industries, and increase the number of students going on to college to study IT, engineering, science, and mathematics,“ commented Kirk Riley, ITEC’s Executive Director.

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