Cultivating tomorrow's workforce.
We pave the way for the devices, applications, services and business models of tomorrow. We believe innovation is critical, not just for our business to thrive but also for the advancement of our industry and society as a whole.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education supports the brainpower behind the inventions that we bring to life. We are cultivating tomorrow’s workforce by increasing access to STEM education by offering and supporting programs that reach students at all levels, from grade school through graduate school. Our STEM activities are also aimed at inspiring greater diversity in STEM fields and expanding opportunities for underrepresented students. We are supporting the next generation of inventors and technologists—ultimately helping people around the globe address future challenges.
Sparking young minds at Thinkabit Lab.
First launched at our San Diego headquarters, the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™—a “makerspace” that is part engineering lab and part art studio—and World of Work provide middle school students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in STEM activities. Working with Qualcomm educators on circuit boards, coding, robotics and more, students gain exposure to different types of engineering and non-engineering careers, such as finance, marketing and human resources, which are needed to support technology companies.
Since opening in September 2014, Thinkabit Lab has hosted and taught approximately 8,000 students, 260 classes and 540 teachers from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds across San Diego County. In 2016, we’re expanding our reach within San Diego County and opening similar Thinkabit “hubs” in other geographic areas. We are encouraging schools to open their own Thinkabit Labs and helping them develop a robust program for training and engaging teachers at both our Thinkabit Lab and the expanded sites. We are providing access to our programs through a collaboration with the University of California, San Diego, which shares Thinkabit content via UCTV. Through Virginia Tech, we are bringing the Thinkabit Lab to the National Capitol Region and leveraging their academic depth in engineering and education, including the preparation of educators who can lead innovative STEM experiences in K-12 schools. We are also exploring opportunities to work with additional Universities to expand the program’s reach.
Empowering women of all ages.
In addition to encouraging young people from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds to experience STEM, we are also devoted to empowering women through STEM education and access to STEM careers. One of the ways we do this is through our work with the Institute of International Education on the Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) program, a Clinton Global Initiative commitment that supports network-building and training opportunities for girls and women in China, India, the United States and beyond. WeTech involves girls
and women in summer camps, technology-related competitions, scholarships, leadership and technical-skills trainings and mentorships.
As part of our commitment to WeTech, we invested in 36 university women studying computer science or engineering in India and China through the Qualcomm Global Scholars program in 2016. This program offers each participant a scholarship and the opportunity to connect one-on-one with a Qualcomm employee in a six month virtual mentorship focused on professional development.
Our employees also support teams of high school girls in India and the U.S. by serving as mentors in the Technovation program, the largest global technology and entrepreneurship competition for girls which challenges them to build mobile apps that will address a community problem.
Building the pipeline for girls in STEM.
We also want to spark interest in various STEM fields among a younger group of girls. In August 2014, we launched Qcamp for Girls in STEM, a new program in our Thinkabit Lab, to excite girls as young as 10 years old about STEM careers through art and science projects focused on energy, electronics, wireless communication, coding and mechanical design. The same 30 Qcampers from San Diego Unified returned to the program in 2015 and will come back for their third consecutive two-week summer camp in 2016. We also reconnect with these students throughout the school year to continually develop their interest in STEM. We are working with the University of California, Berkeley, on curriculum development as well as a longitudinal, randomized control trial of the first generation of Qcampers. The study’s preliminary results show that Qcamp helps girls develop the dispositions, practices and knowledge that enable success in future STEM learning.
For 2016, Qualcomm is also launching two additional Qcamps with a new cohort of pre-6th graders from the Vista Unified School District to reach a wider demographic of students. Along with a new, two week Qcamp for Girls in STEM will be the first Qcamp for Kids in STEM, which will engage both girls and boys in a one week program full of hands-on activities that explore engineering concepts.
Lastly, we are launching our first-ever, non-US Qcamp for Girls in STEM in China. Qualcomm is collaborating with the Children & Youth Science Center of CAST (China Association of Science and Technology) to bring the STEM program to 40 girls between the ages of 12 to 15. These students come from five provinces across China and five science teachers will also join QCamp who will help organize similar STEM activity after Qcamp in their provinces.
Let the STEM games begin.
Consistent with our commitment to fostering future inventors and sparking young people’s passion for STEM, Qualcomm has been a strong supporter of FIRST® and their robotics programs since 2007. Not only do we provide ongoing monetary support of teams and events globally, Qualcomm employees contribute thousands of volunteer hours to support the organization and student teams worldwide. Our senior management team serves as advisors and judges, and our employees volunteer as mentors and judges at regional competitions. Our financial support is targeted at student teams whose members include a diverse range of backgrounds, consist of all or mostly females or come from
In addition, starting with the 2015-2016 season of the FIRST Tech Challenge competition, teams will compete using two Snapdragon powered devices as the control system for their robots. Integrating Snapdragon technology into the robots is evolutionary to the program, and will give student team members hands-on experience with cutting-edge mobile technology. We also work to ensure that FIRST’s major competitions have quality wireless communications environments. In recognition of our continued efforts, we were honored with the FIRST Founder’s Award in 2014 for exceptional service in advancing the organization’s ideals and mission and designated as a FIRST Strategic Partner. We returned as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2016 FIRST Championship in St. Louis, Missouri for the third time, and continue to provide increased support to help grow the FIRST Tech Challenge program in China and Korea, as well as supporting local teams worldwide.