Philadelphia, PA – Recently, more than 100 Philadelphia youth attended the Xtreme5 Teen Tech Summit, powered by Grace3 Technologies, a Black-owned global technology company. The free event, which took place at the Science History Institute, was designed to empower the next generation of leaders by delivering hands-on, real-world tools and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, sUAS/Drones, and more. Event sponsors included Aetna Better Health Kids, Ameresco, Digital Barriers, National Black Empowerment Council, Rajant Corporation, and Skydio, among others.
Delivering remarks, John Henry, Grace3 Technologies, Chairman & CEO said: “This is a rewarding experience for all of us. We have the privilege to provide a unique event for young people by showing them firsthand how to use virtual reality, drones and more. Then, we put them face-to-face with the industry leaders who are creating these cutting edge technologies.” He continued, “Our goal is to create the next generation of tech leaders, right here, in Philadelphia, by prioritizing underrepresented communities in STEM, including Black, Hispanic/Latinx youth as well as girls.”
Xtreme5 Teen Tech Summit exposes youth to technological gadgets and career opportunities that exist in STEM. Darius Jones, founder and CEO, National Black Empowerment Council said: “according to Pew Research, people of color remain underrepresented in STEM careers with Black and Hispanic workers making up only 11 percent and 17 percent of the workforce, respectively.” He continued, “as one of the fastest growing industries in the world, and our goal in supporting an event like X5 is to ensure Black and brown youth are being exposed to opportunities that allow them to take part.”
Women in STEM are also underrepresented making up 28% of the workforce, according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW) while The Pennsylvania Department of Education has said that in the next ten years, 71 percent of new jobs will require computer science skills.
Anecdotally, Philadelphia youth have experienced an unprecedented amount of trauma – from COVID-19 to gun violence to the opioid crisis. Mental health is a primary concern for all partners, particularly presenting sponsor Aetna Better Health Kids, a managed care organization that, through the state and federally-funded Children’s Health Insurance Program, provides mental health services and substance abuse services for young people, among other benefits. For some youth, Xtreme5 Teen Tech Summit is an outlet to escape.
Rep. Joanna McClinton, Pennsylvania Democratic House Leader, 191st District, who delivered remarks at the tech summit, said: “The Philadelphia area is home to five regional STEM ecosystems that encompass schools, businesses, and community organizations which offer robust learning opportunities. Programs like Xtreme5 Teen Tech Summit contribute to the Commonwealth’s national recognition as a leader in STEM and STEM education.”
“Science is all around us, but how it impacts our lives often goes unnoticed,” said David Cole, president and CEO of the Science History Institute. “Our museum is full of interesting objects related to the history of science, and with this event, the Institute was able to show students how the past and the present can come together to create a more inclusive future in science and technology.”
At the summit, students engaged with leading innovators and experts from various science, technology, and corporate sectors, and participated in a museum tour scavenger hunt, hands-on virtual reality and tech play with drones provided by Skydio and Drone-Cadets, and learned about STEM career opportunities from our participating sponsors.
Other sponsors and partners include Drone-Cadets, Gridless Power, Kymeta Corporation, North10 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Philadelphia Energy Authority, Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL), Science History Institute and Verizon Critical Response Team.
Grace3 Technologies, LLC, a nationally certified Minority Business Enterprise (“MBE”), is a manufacturer and value-added reseller of next-generation custom, portable data networks, gateways, routers, cellular modems, point-to-point communications, and antennas to provide users with reliable, high bandwidth internet connectivity and networking capabilities for their critical communications and digital data needs. We specialize in mobile, fixed, and wifi critical communications networks for law enforcement, public safety, EMS, utilities, oil and energy, schools, hospitals, and transportation fleets that demand reliable connectivity for general-purpose applications including voice, video, and data. Transmitting real-time video and data from the field requires a lot of bandwidth, and relying on a single connection or failover leaves organizations vulnerable. Grace3 Technologies is an industry leader that provides resilient internet connectivity delivering the upload and download capacity that keeps teams connected and safe on the frontlines.
About the Science History Institute
The Science History Institute illuminates the science and technology that is “hidden in plain sight.” We explore compelling but often lesser-known stories of science – and we don’t just mean discoveries made by scientists in laboratories. We dive deep into the history of scientific successes and failures, strange surprises, and mishaps. We tell the stories behind the science. So, visit our museum and library, listen to our podcasts, read our magazine, and explore our digital collections and blog to be awakened to scientific stories that are interesting and delightful. www.sciencehistory.org
About Aetna Better Health Kids
Coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides access to preventive care and other services to help your child thrive. Your child has a wide range of benefits available through CHIP, including: doctor’s visits, prescriptions, checkups, dental and eye care, emergency room visits, behavioral health care, hospital stays, tests and x‑rays, and Over The Counter (OTC) Member Benefit.
Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. is a leading cleantech integrator and renewable energy asset developer, owner and operator. Our comprehensive portfolio includes energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions delivered to clients throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Ameresco’s sustainability services in support of clients’ pursuit of Net Zero include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction, and operation of distributed energy resources. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with Federal, state and local governments, healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, MA, Ameresco has more than 1,000 employees providing local expertise in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.ameresco.com.
Digital Barriers has redefined the internet of video things (IoVT), with safety and security products that combine unique, low-bandwidth live streaming with edge analytics. It partners with major network operators such as Vodafone and AT&T to provide its world-beating video security products to the mass market, delivering revolutionary performance without the need for specialist hardware. Building on its proven heritage of delivering secure live video solutions to governments, military and specialist law enforcement, the technology requires 50-75% less bandwidth to deliver live video where it’s needed, when it’s needed, across both fixed and cellular networks.
Drone-Cadets is a unique Drone Education Program designed to produce safe and responsible drone pilots of any age. Our Certified Drone Instructors have taught more than two thousand students. We work with schools and organizations throughout the New York area and beyond, to bring life-changing technology education to families and under-served populations here and around the world.
Gridless’ mission is to provide reliable energy in any situation, no matter how difficult or unexpected. The company designs and manufactures the most intelligent battery systems in the world to deliver power where it’s needed most. Gridless technology is being used to power medical devices, communications equipment, power tools, and everything in between. Our most recent product, the Gridless Sentry is an enterprise grade battery and solar powered security camera that allows customers to deploy anywhere there’s sun. Gridless customers include the US federal government, local police and fire departments, construction sites, schools, utilities, transportation agencies, and many other customers who need reliable, uninterrupted power.
Kymeta is the leader in unlocking the potential of broadband satellite connectivity, combined with cellular networks, to satisfy the overwhelming demand for communications-on-the-move and making mobile global. Kymeta satellite connectivity solutions offer unique, complete, and turnkey bundled solutions to the market based on best-in-class technologies and tailored customer-centric services that meet and exceed customer mission requirements. These solutions, in tandem with the company’s flatpanel satellite antenna, the first of its kind, and Kymeta services provide revolutionary mobile connectivity on satellite and hybrid satellite-cellular networks to customers around the world. Backed by U.S. and international patents and licenses, the Kymeta terminal addresses the need for low-power, low-cost, and high-throughput communication systems that have no moving parts. Kymeta makes connecting easy – for any vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or fixed platform. Kymeta is a privately held company based in Redmond, Washington. For more information, visit kymetacorp.com.
About National Black Empowerment Council
The National Black Empowerment Council’s (NBEC) mission is to empower leaders to work together strategically to close the systemic wealth, influence, and achievement gaps between African Americans and more structurally advantaged groups.
North10 Philadelphia is a community-focused foundation that has grown from
the commitment and vision of Chase Lenfest and from the support of the H. Chase Lenfest Foundation.
About Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
The Attorney General is Pennsylvania’s top law enforcement official, with a wide range of responsibilities to protect and serve the citizens and agencies of the Commonwealth. The Attorney General is served by a staff of several hundred prosecutors, attorneys, investigators, agents and support staff in offices across the state, divided into four sections: the Criminal Law Division, the Public Protection Division, the Civil Division and the Operations Division.
About Philadelphia Energy Authority
The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) is an independent municipal authority focused on issues of energy affordability and sustainability for Philadelphia. Learn more at www.philaenergy.org.
About Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL)
For 75 years, the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) has been a unique resource for disadvantaged youth. PAL officers work proactively with the community to mentor children and help guide them on the pathway to success. PAL operates 15 centers strategically placed in low-income, high-crime neighborhoods to build positive and enduring relationships between Philadelphia Police Officers and the community, while keeping children safe and offering enriching free programming to help them succeed.
Rajant Corporation is the broadband communications technology company that invented Kinetic Mesh® networking, BreadCrumb® wireless nodes, and InstaMesh® networking software. With Rajant, customers can rapidly deploy a highly adaptable and scalable network that leverages the power of real-time data to deliver on-demand, mission-critical business intelligence. A low- latency, high-throughput, and secure solution for a variety of data, voice, video, and autonomous applications, Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh networks provide industrial and service provider customers with full mobility, allowing them to take their private network applications and data anywhere. With successful deployments in more than 75 countries for customers in military, mining, ports, rail, energy, warehouse and manufacturing automation, municipalities, heavy construction, and agriculture. Rajant is headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, with additional facilities and offices in Arizona and Kentucky. For more information, visit Rajant.com or follow Rajant on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Skydio is the leading U.S. drone manufacturer and world leader in autonomous flight. Skydio leverages breakthrough AI to create the world’s most intelligent flying machines for use by consumer, enterprise, and government customers. Founded in 2014, Skydio is made up of leading experts in AI, robotics, cameras, and electric vehicles from top companies, research labs, and universities from around the world. Skydio designs, assembles, and supports its products in the U.S. from its headquarters in Redwood City, CA, to offer the highest standards of supply chain and manufacturing security. Skydio is trusted by leading enterprises across a wide range of industry sectors and is backed by top investors and strategic partners including Andreesen Horowitz, Levitate Capital, Next47, IVP, Playground, and NVIDIA.
About Verizon Critical Response Team
Verizon Communications Inc. was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.