Joelene Latief is only a senior in high school, and already has a patent of her own. She and a friend designed an anti-theft purse, and Oracle helped them apply for the patent.
Latief attends the Design Tech High School in Redwood City, California. The public charter high school opened the doors of its new $43 million building on Oracle's campus on Tuesday. It's virtually indistinguishable from the tall curved office buildings lining Oracle's campus, except for the crowds of teenagers walking the halls.
Design Tech has been around since 2014, and Oracle has been involved from the beginning, but this is the first time the school is directly on Oracle's campus. Students like Latief will be able to get mentorship from Oracle employees, intern at the company and take classes on topics like wearables.
In true Silicon Valley fashion, students also have access to a two-story workshop space called "design realization garage," where they can work on product prototypes.
Oracle's not the only tech company investing in education. Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Salesforce are all trying to make students more tech literate. Data from the Pew Research Center cites a national shortage of software engineers, and also shows that U.S. students trail their peers internationally in STEM achievement.
Facebook's Primary school and Microsoft's School of the Future both serve low-income students. Facebook is also making efforts to help students and parents learn to code through a website called TechPrep. The social media giant is also working with computer science teachers on curriculum. (In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg also donated $100 million to the Newark, New Jersey, public school system.)
Salesforce has pledged $100 million to San Francisco Public schools. CEO Marc Benioff treats the fund like a VC, meeting with principals.
Google is taking a different approach — which is getting its products into classrooms. Half of primary and secondary students in the U.S. now use Google apps and Chromebooks in the classroom.