Snipes Launches Young Geniuses Initiative With ‘Young Geniuses: Innovation Lab’ To Foster Next Generation of Creators and Create More Inclusive Sneaker Industry
SNIPES, the leading sneaker and streetwear retailer, announced the SNIPES Young Geniuses program, an initiative designed to increase access to and participation in higher education for youth from underserved communities.
The first initiative of the Young Geniuses program is the SNIPES Young Geniuses: Innovation Lab, a creator’s space designed to teach students design and technical skills to create a more diverse and inclusive footwear industry. As part of the initiative, the brand will partner with STE(A)M Truck, a mobile innovation lab to develop and execute the eight-week curriculum for the program. The first SNIPES Young Geniuses Innovation Lab will launch in Atlanta on Oct. 24.
As the demand grows for STEM-related careers and professions, there is a significant need for qualified STEM talent. Amy Sharma, Ph.D., executive director of Science for Georgia says “To ensure that Georgia’s citizens can meet the demands of the science and technology economy, it is critical that we develop an educated and well-trained STEM-ready workforce, and maintain a pipeline of students learning employment-ready skills.” SNIPES is addressing these disparities and creating community-centered programming, like the SNIPES Young Geniuses Innovation Lab, putting emerging and diverse young talent at the forefront of the future of innovation.
The SNIPES Young Geniuses: Innovation Lab is an off-site creator’s space where, for eight weeks, chosen faculty will facilitate workshops focused on teaching students design and technological skills. SNIPES has partnered with STE(AM) TRUCK, a growing fleet of mobile innovation labs that are designed to pull kids out of their comfort zones and give them the opportunity to engage, create and learn using STEAM-driven curriculum and real tools and technologies. With STE(A)M Truck and supporting design partners, SNIPES will develop a program curriculum geared toward challenging students to create universal designs to accommodate the footwear needs of diverse communities, with a dedicated focus on the advancement of footwear in the market. The result will be the development of a functional piece of footwear for an inclusive community.
“At SNIPES, it’s important that we leave a positive impact on our communities,” said Jim Bojko, president of SNIPES USA.
“We see a huge opportunity in developing more STEM leaders and creators that come from our neighborhoods. The SNIPES Young Geniuses: Innovation Lab will not only teach students about the sneaker industry, innovative technology, and engineering, but it will convey new critical thinking skills and a positive mindset that they can take to any profession.”
The SNIPES Young Geniuses: Innovation Lab will focus on balancing the fundamentals of footwear design with innovative technology. Local community experts, including notable instructors, designers, and engineers, will be invited to speak to the students about various elements of the program curriculum which will include:
- Sneaker Construction + Deconstruction
- Critical Design Thinking (for Inclusive Communities or Differently Abled Persons)
- Entrepreneurship in the Sneaker Industry
- Functional Footwear
- Computer Design and 3-D Printing
- Presenting Your Product
Consumer Interaction and Engagement
“STE(A)M Truck is thrilled to be a part of this amazing opportunity. Since 2014, we have been supporting students across Metro Atlanta through maker education and design thinking-centered instruction,” said Marsha Francis, Ph.D., executive director of STE(A)M Truck.
“The SNIPES Young Geniuses: Innovation Lab project is brilliant because we know our high schoolers have so much potential and so many brilliant, creative and valuable ideas about their world.”
“This is the perfect opportunity for real-world applications of empathy-centered design, allowing students to investigate a need and create viable solutions and it connects directly with their culture!”