Google Fiber hoping to inspire more interest in STEM subjects among girls, minorities

Posted at 7:49 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 21:49:11-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Eighth graders at Glendale Middle School got to watch the movie "Hidden Figures" in class on Friday.

Google Fiber is using the movie to inspire young girls and minorities to become more interested in a science, technology, engineering, or math careers, also known as STEM.

Google Fiber partnered with Salt Lake City and Provo recently to make the areas the most Internet-connected households in the nation. Their goal is to help those families who do not have access to Internet gain access to the fastest connections and make them enjoy using that technology.

Google Fiber is traveling around the country and showing "Hidden Figures" in schools. Google said only 30 percent of their employees are women, and they want to change that.

“I felt like the movie was showing people how women, black women, could be powerful because black women in the old days like in the '50s and '60s were treated differently from white women,” said 8th grader Claudine Bukuru.

Even though Bukuru wants to study language arts, she said she felt inspired after watching the film.

Students also heard from a Utah aerospace engineer, Kate Anderson, who is a works for Orbital ATK. Orbital ATK is a company that tests space-related equipment.

On June 28, 2016, ATK tested the world’s largest rocket booster, and drew thousands of people. Anderson said she wants to inspire more women to come to her field.

“I really want to inspire the kids to get involved in science; and technology is the main ingredient in almost everything that we do,” Anderson said. “And we need engineers to solve the problems that haven't been solved.”

The results of Google Fiber’s Impact Report in Salt Lake and Provo are below:

"Google Fiber is excited to share a first look at some of the findings from its Community Impact Report. This report looks at how across cities in the U.S., Google Fiber collaborates with local partners and nonprofits to ensure that more people - especially the most digitally divided - have access to the Internet and, as such, opportunities to thrive in an increasingly digital world.

Through a variety of efforts, including community programs focused on science, math, engineering and digital literacy, Google Fiber has seen positive results. This year, together with its community partners, Google Fiber in Salt Lake City and Provo achieved:

• 8,000 hours of digital literacy training
• 20,436 Children and families served by STEM-focused programs supported by Google Fiber
• 1,005,019 People reached during through the work of Digital Inclusion Fellows
• 147 Families living in public housing with access to no-cost Gigabit Internet
• 25 Nonprofit partners and community organizations with free Gigabit Internet through our Community Connections program
• 363 Youth participants in Create Your World + Made With Code Programming
• Since 2015, the digital divide in Provo has reduced by nearly 50% (American Community Survey 2015). With more than 90% of Provo households connected to the Internet, the city is now one of the most connected in the country.