Passport, the leading technology company in mobile payments for parking and transportation, has partnered with local non-profit, Project Scientist, in order to educate and encourage young girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). On August 5th, Passport hosted the Project Scientist Academy in their Charlotte, NC headquarters during the academy’s final week of its summer camp.
Project Scientist’s goal is to educate, coach, and advocate for girls and women with an aptitude, talent, and passion for STEM. Project Scientist works with businesses, universities, and teachers in these fields in order for these young girls to discover the opportunities available to them.
Over the course of this summer academy, young girls ages 4-14 are immersed in STEM through on-site learning and education as well as experiments and field trips to local businesses in the STEM fields. The Passport team shared their expertise in mobile app development and programming to the Project Scientist Academy, teaching the girls about the different platforms of developing products of code.
“At Passport, we feel strongly that every woman should be given the encouragement and knowledge base in order to pursue their passions,” said Brad Powers, Chief Technology Officer at Passport. “It is alarming that out of the 78% of school-aged girls who have an interest in STEM, only 25% of women make up the STEM workforce. It’s very important to begin empowering girls at a young age, and we wanted to be able to make a difference in shaping these young girls’ lives.”
To educate the girls about Passport and mobile app development, the Passport development team led a series of activities to show the intricate dynamics involved in programming. Passport’s co-CEO, Charlie Youakim, and CTO, Brad Powers, led the sessions. The girls took part in interactive games as well as solving puzzles. These activities showed the girls how mobile app development is a detailed, step by step process, and it must be done in a precise way.
“Through our expedition, during iCode week, we visited the Passport office in order to provide our young scientists with a hands-on, real life application of what working in a STEM profession could look like,” said Kari Stranberg, Coordinator at Project Scientist. “Getting this type of exposure is a crucial factor in making these young ladies believe that they can be successful in the STEM industry. Our scientists keep a running notebook of observations, plans, designs, rebuild plans and reflections each day. After our expedition at Passport I looked through some of the scientists notebooks to see what they had to say:
‘At Passport today I learned that I need to be more specific when it comes to coding computers. This expedition also made me decide to have a career in engineering.’ Claire- age 9
‘My favorite part was making the peanut butter and jelly sandwich by coding the person who is making it who acted like a robot . It made me think of little details.’ Anginlina- age 8
‘I liked learning about coding by telling my friends how to move through the grid on the floor with 4 specific commands.’ Sumitra- age 9
As you can tell, the lessons the girls learned about programming during their time at the Passport office made a significant impact on their education in STEM, and we look forward to growing our partnership with Passport for years to come.”
Passport is the industry-leading mobile payments company specializing in integrated urban mobility solutions. The company provides feature rich software platforms that offer parking and transit agencies a more effective and efficient way to manage their operations and serve their customers. Passport’s mobile payment systems are deployed in over 1,000 locations in 43 states and provinces across the US and Canada, with clients such as Chicago, Toronto, and Boston.
Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Passport is backed by a highly respected group of investors, including Grotech Ventures and Relevance Capital. For more information, please visit www.gopassport.com