General Questions

What Is Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™?

The Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab provides students with a unique STEM experience and exposure to careers they may not know exist. It also provides an opportunity for educators to learn best practices for engaging students in STEM.  Students engage in hands-on engineering activities that involve problem-solving, creativity and collaboration. With the Thinkabit Lab experience, we are inspiring a new generation of tinkerers and inventors who will build on the foundation of 5G to invent the unimagined.

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Why is Qualcomm committed to exposing students to STEM education at the Thinkabit Lab?

As a company of inventors and technologists, we care deeply about STEM. It is part of who we are and the foundation for everything we do. We are committed to contributing to a successful, robust, diverse and expanding pool of talent in STEM fields. Therefore, we invest in sustainable, STEM programs that reach, inspire and engage students of all ages, at all levels and from all backgrounds. We expose them to STEM concepts and careers that are essential to tomorrow’s workforce, not only at Qualcomm, but in every aspect of building the wireless, Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G ecosystems.   

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How many students and teachers have you hosted at the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab in San Diego?

Since opening in 2014, the Thinkabit Lab at our San Diego headquarters has:

• Promoted STEM career awareness to more than 12,000 students, teachers and parents

• Hosted more than 400 classes and camps

• Built more than 6,000 robotic crafts. 

• Collaborated with 15 school districts

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How can I learn about events at Thinkabit Lab throughout the year?

To receive updates from Thinkabit Lab, please complete this form. If you’re interested in attending an open house or learning about other opportunities to engage with Thinkabit Lab and Qualcomm throughout the year, please complete the form and we’ll send you updates.

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What are Qualcomm’s goals for the Thinkabit Lab? 

Our goal for Thinkabit Lab is to inspire the next generation of STEM innovators.  We want to demystify engineering and the possibilities of being an inventor; and to guide students through activities where they can unlock their unique talents and see the careers that are open to them . The Thinkabit Lab team defines success as students leaving our space every day feeling a new self-confidence that a STEM career may be in their future, and an understanding that STEM concepts are found in many careers.   

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How does Thinkabit Lab serve the community at large?

Thinkabit Lab is committed to building collaborations with public- and private-sector organizations throughout San Diego. Our STEM program has served over 12,000 students, teachers, and parents since opening in 2014.

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Student Visits

Our typical class size, per visit, ranges between 24 and 32 students. 

Our typical class size, per visit, ranges between 24 and 32 students. 

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How long is a day-long visit?

Typically, classes are onsite for 5-6 hours, with common arrival times around 9am and departures at 2:30-3pm. The day includes a 30-minute lunch break.

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 If I need to cancel my class visit to the Thinkabit Lab, can I reschedule?

Should a school need to cancel a class visit, we will add the school to the wait-list for the current academic year, but a spot is not guaranteed.

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How much does a student/school/teacher have to pay to participate in the Thinkabit Lab experience?

There is no charge for the day-long Thinkabit Lab experience at Qualcomm. Qualcomm supplies everything visiting classes need to code, collaborate and create robo-crafts, from laptop computers and microcontrollers to Servo motors, stuffed animals, hot glue and lots and lots of glitter. We also provide a healthy lunch. All of our lunches are nut-free and we offer vegetarian options as well. For other dietary restrictions, we kindly ask that the student bring their own lunch. Schools are required to fund and coordinate their own transportation to and from the Thinkabit Lab, as well as any needed substitute teaching costs.

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Many of my students have no experience coding. Will they be able to keep up with the lessons?

Our coursework is designed for students that have had limited or no experience with engineering, but is just as engaging for students with prior experience with coding. The vast majority of our students have their first coding experience at Thinkabit Lab, as well as their first exposure to the career possibilities in these areas.

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How do I shedule a Thinkabit Lab experience for my class?

The day-long Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab experience at our headquarters in San Diego serves primarily 6th-8th graders throughout San Diego county. Thinkabit Lab collaborates directly with schools and school districts to schedule class visits. If you’re a parent, please contact the principal at your child’s school to express interest in having your child’s class visit Thinkabit Lab. 

During the academic year, Thinkabit Lab hosts classes three days per week. Due to the high volume of requests for visits and our commitment to exposing students from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to STEM education and careers, priority consideration is given to underserved schools and student populations under-represented in STEM careers. We are proud of the popularity and demand of the Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab. We begin scheduling class visits in the spring for the upcoming academic year, and the schedule fills quickly. 

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Tours

 I’m interested in seeing Thinkabit Lab. Do you offer tours?

We host tours for:

• Educators, principals and school administrators who may want to experience Thinkabit Lab prior to scheduling class visits or who may be interested in creating an Inspired by Thinkabit Lab of their own

• Community leaders who are interested in launching STEM programs for local youth and adults

• Representatives of local, state and national governments who may be interested in seeing how Qualcomm collaborates with public- and private-sector organizations to help close the STEM skills gap in our nation and prepare our children for jobs of the future

• Representatives from businesses that may be interested in replicating the Thinkabit Lab experience or developing a similar kind of experience for their own organizations and industry

• Workforce partnerships that may be interested in Thinkabit Lab as a model for addressing workforce needs in their own regions 

To schedule a tour, please complete this form.

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Will I see Thinkabit Lab in action during the tour?

We try to host tours while class is in session. We think it’s very important that you see and feel for yourself how the Thinkabit Lab experience inspires students to explore the world of work around them and encourages and engages them through fun-filled, hands-on engineering experiences to pursue STEM-related education. 

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Summer Programs

Do you host STEM camps at Thinkabit Lab?

Thinkabit Lab provides longer, deeper experiences for students in STEM through our summertime Qcamp program. The program is offered free of charge and accepts students who will be entering middle school in the fall. For highlights from our past Qcamps, visit our videos page for recaps of all our camps over the past 4 summers!

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How can my organization support a summer camp using Thinkabit Lab Signature Activities?

We’re glad you asked! We’re currently working on a resource guide to help other organizations who are looking to create their own camp experience Inspired by Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab.  This guide will include sample timelines and necessary forms for campers to complete as well as some of the logistical considerations you’ll want to think about throughout the planning process.  We also are working on creating the Teaching Resources necessary to support the Signature Activities we’ve done at Qcamps in the past.   

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What STEM programs for girls does Qualcomm support?  

In addition to creating our unique summer camp program at the Thinkabit Lab, we are a lead partner in the Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech®) program and collaborate with organizations like Girls Who Code and Girl Develop It! to work towards our shared goal of closing the gender gap in the tech industry. Through our various programs, we are able to inspire and expose girls (and boys) to STEM activities and address issues that may otherwise deter underrepresented students from pursuing STEM education and careers. Unlike other programs, Thinkabit Lab exposes students to the complexity and breadth of the tech industry, teaching them how diverse companies invest their talent, creativity and resources into developing innovative solutions that improve people’s lives and help make the world a better place. We also show students how having STEM skills will enable them to take part in the next technological revolution: a 5G world in which everything — our cities, cars, homes, jobs and ourselves — are connected through an Internet of Things (IoT).

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How can my child apply for Qcamp?

Each year, Qualcomm works directly with school districts to collect applications from students for Qcamp. In the past, we have worked with San Diego Unified School District, Vista Unified School District, and Chula Vista Elementary School District. Once students have applied, the team uses a randomization process to select the students who will attend the camp. In addition to the Qcamps hosted at Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab, the team has been working to expand the Qcamp model to other sites.  To learn more about our 2017 camps, view our Press Note from July 2017.

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Expansion Efforts

Do you have any other cornerstone facilities besides your headquarters in San Diego?

In 2016 we began a collaboration with Virginia Tech, launching a Thinkabit Lab at their Northern Virginia Center in the National Capitol Region.  Since opening its doors in September 2016, the Thinkabit Lab at Virginia Tech has hosted more than 4,000 students and more than 500 teachers.  For more information on the Thinkabit Lab at Virginia Tech or to contact Jim Egenrieder, the director of the lab, please visit www.ThinkabitLab.com/VirginiaTech. Moving forward, we’d like to help schools, school districts, libraries, and other organizations across the country create their own Inspired by Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab sites.  Learn more by reading our Press Release from May 2017.

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How can we collaborate with you to create an Inspired by Thinkabit Lab experience at our school and, possibly, other schools in our district?

We’re excited about your interest to create a Thinkabit Lab experience for your students, and we have an Inspired by Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ program to help you do just that. We would love to talk with you and learn more about your organization, interests and goals for your makerspace. For step-by-step guidance on the process, including information about our free Inspired by Qualcomm Thinkabit Lab toolkit that will be available to you to access our signature activities, suggestions for space setup, and all of the resources and collateral you’ll need to create an Inspired by Thinkabit Lab experience for your students please email ContactThinkabitLab@qualcomm.com

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