MHTA Foundation Receives $20,000 AT&T Donation to Expand Tech Experience Tours Program

AT&T presents a $20,000 donation to the MHTA Foundation to expand their Tech Experience Tours program and introduce underserved youth to STEM careers. Pictured L-R: Paul Weirtz, state president of AT&T Minnesota; Margaret Anderson Kelliher, MHTA President & CEO; and Tim Barrett, MHTA Director of STEM Education & Workforce Development.
June 13, 2016

MHTA — The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) Foundation received a $20,000 AT&T donation today to help expand the Tech Experience Tours program that introduces underserved high school students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) professionals and careers.

Research consistently demonstrates the most effective encouragement for students to pursue a STEM career is the opportunity to meet and interact with a STEM professional.  In 2015, the MHTA Foundation introduced a new program to connect students with STEM businesses and individuals.  Called the Tech Experience Tours, the program offers opportunities for students to see firsthand the cutting-edge work that goes on each day at large and small science & technology employers throughout Minnesota.

The AT&T donation will be used to help expand the program this fall to serve additional youth and to increase access for these students to the variety of and opportunities in STEM careers.

“The goal of our Tech Experience Tours is to expose students to the exciting possibilities of careers in STEM fields by connecting them directly with STEM professionals at high tech companies in the Twin Cities and Minnesota,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, MHTA President & CEO.  “We are excited to receive this AT&T contribution to help expand the program and promote STEM education among underserved local youth.”

Tech Experience Tours are offered twice during the academic year in the winter and spring, and are targeted to underserved high school students.  The tours can include the following elements: interactive and hands-on activities; breakout discussion groups; company presentations; career panel and Q&A sessions; and physical tours of the workspace.

“AT&T Minnesota is committed to helping advance the education of our young people, particularly in the critical fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Paul Weirtz, president of AT&T Minnesota.  “We are proud to support this program and help underserved youth experience the variety of careers available in the STEM profession.”

The MHTA Foundation fuels Minnesota’s innovation through a workforce educated in science, technology, engineering and math.  The Foundation supports the goal of the MHTA to make Minnesota one of the country’s top five technology states.

As a company, AT&T has a long-standing commitment to helping advance education through donations to local education organizations and through the AT&T Aspire program.  One of the nation’s largest corporate initiatives, AT&T Aspire is committed to helping more students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have given nearly $87 million nationwide to support STEM initiatives since 1995.  Projects supported by AT&T contributions range from STEM scholarship programs and science and math-focused summer camps for at-risk youth, to hands-on technology labs and elite robotics competitions at the nation’s leading universities.

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