Science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known collectively as STEM, are essential for inventions that we bring to life. It’s easy to imagine that technology will always get better, faster and cheaper – but without disruptors, scientists and engineers, our culture of creative innovation would not exist. We must lead the next generation of great thinkers and inventors by showing them the possibilities that lay before them in areas such as robotics, connected cars, IoT and 5G. Our STEM education efforts are helping to do just that and more.
We support STEM education at all levels and are expanding opportunities for greater diversity in the STEM workforce, both now and in the future. We leverage and build upon our unique, hands-on engineering and career exposure program called Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™, which is the combination of a makerspace and classroom for students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. We also collaborate in public-private partnerships and work with outstanding organizations like FIRST and the IIE to help inspire students worldwide to pursue STEM degrees and careers. By joining together, we have a much larger impact on improving the talent pipeline.
Launched Our Newest Thinkabit Lab with Virginia Tech: Our new cornerstone facility at the Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, Virginia engages students from the D.C. metro area in STEM career activities and hands-on engineering projects, while providing an avenue for training educators. By collaborating with Virginia Tech, we are taking the Thinkabit Lab experience beyond the space itself by incorporating it into the professional development of current and future principals, superintendents and other education leaders.
Expanding Access to STEM Programs Globally with FIRST: Since 2006, we have been a proud supporter of FIRST, a nonprofit organization with a vision to create a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders. Expanding access to STEM programs worldwide is a top priority for both our Company and FIRST. In China, we have been an integral player in expanding the FIRST Tech Challenge program – providing financial support for 30 teams, three Qualcomm sponsored regional competitions, 1,300 employee volunteer hours and reaching more than 4,000 spectators during the 2015- 2016 season. Our sponsorship of the 2016 Korea Robot Championship enabled the number of FIRST Tech Challenge teams to more than double this year. In addition, we sponsored FIRST teams and events in the United States, Canada and Israel.
Joined Stakeholders to Help Build a Diverse Workforce: We participated in the White House “Computer Science for All” initiative, which encourages and inspires students to pursue studies in high-growth fields, particularly computer science (CS). We joined more than 100 commitment-makers to respond to the White House’s call to action, which has already reached more than 1 million students and teachers with CS programming. As a Company that employs thousands of engineers and computer scientists who develop the software that powers our mobile devices, we are proud to support the next generation of technologists.
Awarded for Our STEM Education Efforts: We were honored to receive IIE’s 2016 Opening Minds Corporate Leadership Award for our contribution to WeTech, which helps women and girls enter and succeed in technology careers, and builds the talent and skills that are needed to fuel technological and economic growth. The award recognizes corporations whose business activities promote international understanding and improve the lives of people in the communities in which they work.
Want to see how we plan to enhance and expand the talent pipeline in the technology industry? Learn more in the 2016 Qualcomm Sustainability Report.
KEYWORDS: Education, Diversity & Inclusion, Qualcomm, Thinkabit Lab, First, robotics, engineering, computer science, sustainability