A Conversation About the Power of STEM Education With Joy Cho
Our strategic collaboration with FIRST.
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.