Qualcomm Continues Inspiring Underrepresented Students to Explore STEM Education by Expanding the Reach of the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab Nationwide
In an effort to reach beyond the more than 12,000 students, teachers and parents who have visited the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ since its opening in 2014 at the Company’s headquarters, Qualcomm Incorporated announced today the launch of the Thinkabit Lab Toolkit to be offered free-of-charge to organizations interested in creating sustainable and scalable STEM programs, such as school districts, libraries, businesses and universities across the U.S.
By accessing the Toolkit, participating organizations will be able to create their own STEM lab “Inspired by the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab”, by following guidelines, materials and teaching resources based on the successful signature activities offered at the original Company’s lab. The Thinkabit Lab aims to foster creativity and collaboration among students in a part maker-space, part lab environment, and provides career exploration guidelines and resources, as well as engaging, hands-on engineering activities to inspire and expose participants to future possibilities and STEM career opportunities.
“At Qualcomm we are constantly thinking of ways to inspire the next generation of STEM innovators, and to contribute to a better prepared, and more diverse future workforce,” said Susie Armstrong, senior vice president, engineering, Qualcomm Incorporated, and leader of the Thinkabit Lab. “Thinkabit Lab has proven to be a successful way to achieve that, and we are excited to continue expanding beyond San Diego by offering our new Thinkabit Lab Toolkit and by working with organizations committed to bring STEM opportunities to students.”
According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), out of 71 countries, the U.S. ranks 38th in math and 24th in science. With programs like the Thinkabit Lab and the Thinkabit Lab Toolkit, Qualcomm is hoping to influence interest in STEM by exposing students in a fun and engaging way to the depth and breadth of the tech industry.
The Thinkabit Lab Toolkit includes two key components of the program: Qualcomm World of Work (QWOW) content and the engineering lab experience. QWOW is a set of career and self-exploration activities based on the work of Qualcomm’s Career Explorations team and the team’s experiences with community youth programs. The engineering lab experience features the highly successful Thinkabit Lab signature activities that culminate in robo-crafting projects, which inspire students’ collaboration and creativity, and demystifies engineering.
Over the past three years the Thinkabit Lab in San Diego has provided students from schools around the county with engaging, day-long, hands-on engineering and career exploration activities. Exposing students from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to STEM education and careers, the Thinkabit Lab has hosted more than 400 classes and camps, promoting STEM career awareness. Today there are nine “Inspired by Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab” sites in varying stages of development, including five middle schools across San Diego county, a library in Chula Vista, CA, and two private-sector businesses in San Diego, as well as a space at Virginia Tech University in Washington D.C.
Qualcomm's technologies powered the smartphone revolution and connected billions of people. We pioneered 3G and 4G – and now we are leading the way to 5G and a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Our products are revolutionizing industries, including automotive, computing, IoT, healthcare and data center, and are allowing millions of devices to connect with each other in ways never before imagined. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including, our QCT semiconductor business. For more information, visit Qualcomm’s website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.