Zip Code Wilmington and InterDigital Announce Outcomes of Inaugural B1ue N0te High School Technology Training Initiative

InterDigital

WILMINGTON, DE — Delaware’s premier non-profit coding school, Zip Code Wilmington, in partnership with InterDigital, Inc. (Nasdaq: IDCC), a Delaware-based mobile and video technology research and development company, launched B1ue N0te™ in late 2020 and are now releasing outcomes of the program. The B1ue N0te initiative exceeded program expectations by training nearly 200 Delaware high school juniors and seniors during the 2020-2021 school year and summer camp.

Designed to provide industry-standard computer programming and web development training to local students, B1ue N0te attracted underrepresented and socioeconomically disadvantaged youth to learn highly desired technical skills. The goal of B1ueN0te is to give Delaware high school students the technical skills that could interest them in pursuing further education in STEM fields or additional training toward high-paying software development jobs after graduation.

“We are thrilled with the outcomes of our first-ever B1ue N0te youth tech training program, launched with generous support from InterDigital and in close collaboration with the Department of Education,” said Desa Burton, executive director, Zip Code Wilmington. “Our focus was to implement the program in three Delaware high schools, which we did during the first semester in 2021. By the second semester, enrollment quickly grew, and the Department of Education expanded the program to a total of six schools and two summer training programs, with a total of 200 students completing the programs. The increase in participants gave our team the ability to observe how the curriculum performed based on the varying needs of diverse high schools and our educators.”

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The B1ue N0te program was integrated into seven participating high schools and two summer training programs including:

  • Caesar Rodney High School (Kent County)
  • Smyrna High School (Kent County)
  • Conrad School of Science (New Castle County)
  • Newark Charter School (New Castle County)
  • William Penn High School (New Castle County)
  • Indian River High School (Sussex County)
  • Sussex Central High School (Sussex County)
  • Summer Training Program: Delaware State University
  • Summer Training Program: Caesar Rodney High School

“We are proud to see our vision for B1ue N0te come to life and give under-resourced students the opportunity to access technical knowledge and skills that give them an early start at a rewarding career after high school graduation,” said Liren Chen, President and CEO of InterDigital. “We are bridging the tech skills gap early in the learning continuum with the help and expertise of Zip Code Wilmington’s world-class curriculum and instructors. We look forward to our continued partnership and implementing B1ue N0te in more schools in Delaware in the years to come.”

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Each school deployed the B1ue N0te program in different ways. Some used it as the primary curriculum for front end programming instruction while others integrated it into an IT hardware/software course or used specific modules with their ongoing computer science “pathways” courses.

While the gender and BIPOC makeup of each class differed based on the school or summer camp setting, overall, the class demographics demonstrated upwards of 33 percent female, 44 percent African American, 31 percent Latinx, and 25 percent disabled, in various combinations.

The B1ue N0te summer training program introduces coding and programming to teens and encourages student enrollment for the following school year. In one of this year’s inaugural B1ue N0te summer programs, instructors trained 20 students in a condensed curriculum of 40 hours of instruction in JavaScript, HTML and CSS over four weeks. In a second program, students learned to program drones using Python over a 4-day course.

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“It’s programs like B1ue N0te that give students skills training, mentorship and motivation to take their future into their own hands,” commented Wade Robinson, MBA, associate director, University Center for Economic Development and International Trade at Delaware State University. “We were thrilled with the outcomes of this year’s training for the National Summer Transportation Institute, which was funded by Delaware Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, and look forward to future collaboration with Zip Code Wilmington and InterDigital to put software development skills in reach for our teens.”

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