STEM Community Partnerships
The purpose of our STEM community collaborations is to inspire and equip future innovators with the skills and tools necessary to compete in a growing, global economy. We focus our support on programs that provide students with hands-on experience developing STEM skills, make STEM education more accessible to students around the world, and build capacity to innovate and address future challenges.
Our Company has proudly supported FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) since 2006. We’re a FIRST Strategic Partner. We help promote the FIRST mission to a broad audience, and our support is wide-ranging. We make substantial philanthropic contributions to sponsor events and programs in nine countries, support thousands of teams across the globe and aid in program growth for underserved communities.
Hundreds of our employees worldwide are active volunteers for FIRST. They donate more than 12,000 hours of their time each year, for a pro bono value of $1.6 million. They lead teams, mentor FIRST students and serve as judges for events.
Our people are proud to have donated hundreds of hours of technical support to integrate our cutting-edge technology in the FIRST Tech Challenge control system. Thanks to their generosity and expertise, FIRST Tech Challenge teams can now create and control their robots using Android based smartphones powered by a Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor. Through the Snapdragon devices, students learn to program in Java instead of previous system's Robot C. Our strategic collaboration with FIRST has also brought remarkable new talent into our organization. We’re very pleased to have hired FIRST alum for internships and full-time employment with our Company.
Diversity is the mother of innovation. Diversity sparks fresh thinking, creativity and breakthrough ideas that are the lifeblood of our business and our industry. To this end, we support STEM education programs that aim to increase diversity within STEM fields. Our programs have a strong focus on supporting women and underrepresented minorities. We implement many different programs in the communities where we live and work, with the objective of ensuring STEM education is accessible to all.
Qualcomm India, in association with United Way of Hyderabad and Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, launched the Qualcomm Aqriti community outreach program to provide underprivileged girls with increased access to STEM education and to address community perceptions of gender equality.
The program engages students and the community by:
Our program currently operates in more than 250 schools across India. It’s reaching more than 40,000 school children, of whom an estimated 40 percent are girls, and providing training to more than 500 teachers.
Her Future Tech Camp, a collaboration between our Company and Children & Youth Science Center of China Association of Science and Technology, aims to spark rural girls’ interest in science and technology. Our Company has been sponsoring the participation of middle school girls and science teachers from underserved areas in China since the program’s inception in 2016.
Students attending this week-long camp adventure learn scratch programming and build robotic crafts on an Arduino platform. Science teachers learn how to organize similar STEM activities for their own students.
Campers get to meet and engage with female engineers and scientists to learn why and how they chose STEM as their career path. They also get to visit the Qualcomm China office to learn more about our business culture and visit our engineering labs.
To date, Her Future Tech Camp has directly impacted 125 girls and 19 science teachers from 14 provinces throughout China.
Teachers and educators are on the front line of sparking students’ interest in STEM and inspiring them to be the next generation of innovators. We collaborate with diverse organizations to create STEM giving programs that provide teachers and educators with the support, skills, knowledge and tools they need to effectively engage their students in the world of STEM education.
In China, we collaborate with the Shanghai Adream Charitable Foundation to organize STEM curriculum trainings for education professionals. These “Train the trainers” workshops teach teachers and educators from across China how to implement STEM curriculum and activities in schools and community centers. Afterward, the newly trained trainers introduce STEM curriculum to approximately 130 schools in underprivileged areas throughout China. More than 5,000 students have benefited from this project.
The project’s success led to new opportunities to advance STEM education in our communities. For example, in 2018, employees from Qualcomm and Xiaomi volunteered more than 160 hours of their time to help organize a STEM weekend activity at several community centers.
To celebrate National Robotics Week in the United States and to support students and teachers across the country, we teamed up with Bosch USA to fund every FIRST-related project on the Donor’s Choose fundraising platform.
Teachers use Donor’s Choose to raise money for much needed items for their classrooms. We identified all the funding requests from teachers who were looking to integrate FIRST programs into their classrooms and fully funded their projects.
Together, Bosch USA and Qualcomm funded 120 different projects at more than 88 schools serving more than 10,000 students in 25 states. Sixty-six percent of the schools that received the funding have a majority student population from low-income households.
Our employees are our greatest STEM ambassadors. They are passionate about STEM and embrace opportunities to inspire students toward a future in STEM fields. We engage our people in this effort by offering a variety of STEM-related volunteering opportunities around the globe.
In China, Qualcomm customer Xiaomi Corporation shares our passion for spreading STEM education in local communities. In addition to our business relationship, we collaborate to provide diverse opportunities for employees from both our companies to engage in community STEM projects. For example, more than 24 Xiaomi employees and their family members volunteered for activities, such as our STEM curriculum teacher trainings with Shanghai Adream Charitable Foundation.
The Biocom Institute Festival of Science and Engineering in San Diego is an annual 10 day educational experience featuring interactive demonstrations, hands-on activities and dynamic speakers — all aimed at engaging kids and families in STEM.
Hundreds of community businesses and organizations, including ours, participate in the festival, which is free to the public. More than 17,000 people attend.
2019 marked our Company’s eighth consecutive year of involvement. Each year, more than 60 of our San Diego employees proudly volunteer to support this fun and exciting event. STEM ambassadors from our Research & Development, Wireless Reach and Thinkabit Lab present their projects to inspire students and create awareness of the wide variety of STEM careers that are available within the technology sector.
We believe in the power of collaboration. Inside and outside our Company, in the United States and around the world, we collaborate with many different businesses and organizations to spread STEM education and inspire students toward careers in STEM. These are some of the organizations with whom we are proud to work: