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When a community does not have access to technology and the Internet, they fall behind communities that do. Access to technology and technical skills improves social and cultural capital and allows one to achieve mass economic gains in productivity. School kids without access and technical knowledge are more likely to be unable to complete their homework and as a result, suffer from lower grades. Young adults and up are also affected because it affects an individual’s ability to apply for jobs and restricts their access to information.

This is called the digital divide which is defined as, “the gap between those who have access to modern information and communications technology and those that do not or have restricted access due to economic, educational, linguistic, and or generational reasons”.  There is also a second level of the digital divide that even those with access exist in. Within this level, there is a divide between producers of Internet content and consumers. This divide exists due to educational disadvantages and lack of free time required to make content.

In order to bridge the Digital Divide, we must go beyond ensuring people have access to the proper resources by improving technological literacy and skills. This can be achieved through increased engagement in content creation, increasing the number of technically trained individuals, changing the attitude around technology, and empowering individuals to get involved in STEM.

 

In 2017, the Multicultural Development Center of Iowa launched an initiative to address the lack of diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics called the STEM Factory, to help fight this issue that overwhelmingly affects communities of color. This program will be accessible to individuals living in Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Cedar Rapids, and surrounding areas and is primarily focused on those who identify as a person of color. MDC Iowa does not discriminate and believes that we cannot achieve real change without fully embracing inclusivity. We welcome all, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disabilities, or any other marginalized status.

The STEM Factory program will help participants gain strong skills in the STEM field that will improve their future, confidence, and independence, and give them the power to create what they want to see in the world. Courses within the program will include C+, Python, UI/UX design, web design, mobile app creation, IoT device development, 3D design and printing, and more!

Help change the face of STEM so it more accurately reflects the communities it serves.

2023 Event Calendar

  • Understanding Income, Budgets, Credit & Debt (Nov. 18th)
    Understanding Income, Budgets, Credit & Debt (Nov. 18th)
    Sat, Nov 18
    MDC Iowa
    Nov 18, 2023, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    MDC Iowa, 1927 Keokuk St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
    Nov 18, 2023, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    MDC Iowa, 1927 Keokuk St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
  • Understanding Income, Budgets, Credit & Debt
    Understanding Income, Budgets, Credit & Debt
    Sat, Oct 28
    MDC Iowa
    Oct 28, 2023, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    MDC Iowa, 1927 Keokuk St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
    Oct 28, 2023, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    MDC Iowa, 1927 Keokuk St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
  • Sign Maker Workshop
    Sign Maker Workshop
    Sat, Oct 07
    INNOV8 idea Lab - MDC Iowa's makerspace
    Oct 07, 2023, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM CDT
    INNOV8 idea Lab - MDC Iowa's makerspace, 1222 S Gilbert Ct, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
    Oct 07, 2023, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM CDT
    INNOV8 idea Lab - MDC Iowa's makerspace, 1222 S Gilbert Ct, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
  • Cybersecurity User Group - March 2023
    Cybersecurity User Group - March 2023
    Multiple Dates
    Thu, May 18
    MERGE
    May 18, 2023, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    MERGE, 136 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
    May 18, 2023, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    MERGE, 136 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240, USA
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