Most everyone agrees that STEM disciplines provide the necessary background for careers in technology. Because many students are not prepared for or can’t afford a four-year degree, IBM created the six-year Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) program. P-TECH schools award participating high school students both a high school diploma and an associate degree at no cost. As an example of the P-TECH method, IBM tapped Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP) to help students create a new mobile app in a design thinking workshop.
Using the IBM Garage Methodology, five student teams worked with ADP and IBM volunteer mentors to create a mobile-app minimal viable product. One team created a finance and budgeting app to address daily expense tracking and budgeting issues they see within their own families, where there is often too little money to cover basic expenses such as food.