STEM Community Partnerships
Our STEM-focused, community collaborations support organizations that deliver effective STEM engagement and education opportunities to learners of all ages and backgrounds.
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. As a FIRST Strategic Partner, we help promote the FIRST mission to a broad audience of stakeholders, 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 Qualcomm employees worldwide are active volunteers for FIRST. They donate their time and expertise to FIRST participants around the world. During the 2020 season, Qualcomm employees donated more than 15,000 hours of their time, serving as mentors, coaches, judges, and event volunteers.
Our engineers are also 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 these devices, students learn to program in Java instead of previous system's Robot C. This integration puts our technology in the hands of more than 55,000 students in 25 countries each year with cumulative reach of more than 305,000 students in more than 27 countries over the last five years.
During the 2020-2021 season, we partnered with FIRST to expand the Innovation programming to a broader age group of students, from elementary to high school. The Innovation Challenge, presented by Qualcomm, allows students to explore what it means to be an innovator by identifying a real-life challenge, and developing a solution that impact the world for generations to come. Throughout the season, teams work with industry mentors to garner subject-matter expertise, build prototypes of their inventions, and develop “pitches” for their ideas. Some teams even go on to file provisional patents. Demonstrating originality, creativity, potential impact and value, semifinalist teams are recognized for their inventions. .
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 drives innovation and 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 doing the below:
Since it’s inception, Aqriti has impacted more than 56,000 children and more than 2,200 teachers across 278 schools in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chennai.
We believe that bringing talent and diversity together is the key to unleashing creativity, innovation and breakthrough technologies. As part of our efforts to grow the innovation economy, we’re creating a pipeline of diverse inventors and patent holders.
We proudly supported VentureWell’s E-Team grant program encouraging invention from under-represented students. VentureWell is a higher education network that helps cultivate the skills and creativity of university students, who are passionate about solving the world’s biggest challenges and creating lasting impact. The E-Team program supports multidisciplinary, student-led teams who are aiming to bring their innovations out of the lab and into the market to create social, health or environmental impact. The training program which helps teams build confidence and advance their knowledge in essential topics like customer discovery, intellectual property, and business model validation. Teams network with their peers and learn from VentureWell’s dedicated teaching team while working to bring inventions to market.
Million Girls Moonshot seeks to re-imagine who can engineer, who can build, who can make. It aims to inspire and prepare the next generation of innovators by engaging one million more girls in STEM learning opportunities through afterschool and summer programs over the next 5 years.
Qualcomm has supported the launch of Moonshot’s transformative programming as an inaugural funder and visionary leader. In our role as a founding member of the initiative, we help create a coalition of like-minded organizations and individuals sharing our vision of STEM equity.
Moonshot also aligns with our Company’s goal to increase diversity of talent in the STEM workforce pipeline. We will be able to deliver proven programming to more than a million underserved young people and educators, with a girls-centric focus and a focus on engineering and technology. We are also developing high-quality opportunities for Qualcomm employees to engage in hands-on, afterschool programming and serve as role models and mentors.
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. More than 5,000 students have benefited from this project. By the end of 2020, around 187 schools and 10 community centers have implemented “STEM & Maker” curriculum, benefitting around 40,000 students aged from 10 to 15.
When schools closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the USS Midway Museum’s STEM education in-person field trips for students and teachers came to an abrupt halt. A long-time partner to the Midway, Qualcomm sponsored the transition of the Midway’s STEM education onboard field trip curriculum to a virtual platform for the 2020-2021 school year. To ensure educators and students from all backgrounds could access and utilize the curriculum, Qualcomm created the Qualcomm Scholarship Fund to underwrite participation costs for the first 250 school groups that register for the new virtual STEM education experiences.
Midway completed three virtual, distance-learning versions of its extremely popular onboard STEM curriculum for elementary and middle school students for synchronous and asynchronous learning. A fourth program is in development and expected to be completed by Q1 2021. More than 2,000 students attended the virtual STEM programs which included a live tour of the Midway by the end of 2020.
Midway produced on online experience for children based on its Junior Pilot Program. The experience is branded “presented by Qualcomm.” This engaging, interactive quiz application let kids answer questions to determine what kind of pilot they would be, the kind of aircraft they would fly, and even assigned a coveted “call sign.” Underwrote support to digitize Midway Education’s STEAM student audio tour making this program and content available virtually to students anywhere.
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, for example, 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.
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.
2020 marked our Company’s ninth 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. As a result of the pandemic, Biocom has moved much of it’s programming into a virtual platform where teachers can easily access curriculum and videos.
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: