Qualcomm and Virginia Tech open Thinkabit Lab in National Capital Region to bring hands-on STEM learning to students and training to teachers
Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) and Virginia Tech begin a multi-year collaboration this fall with the launch of the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ at Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church.
The Thinkabit Lab experience offers both teachers and students an engaging learning environment—part lab, makerspace and classroom—to foster creativity, collaboration and the critical skills necessary for the 21st century. The new Thinkabit Lab is led by Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering and School of Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, based on Qualcomm’s World of Work and STEM coursework.
Residing in the National Capital Region, the lab is Qualcomm’s first outside of San Diego, servicing underserved students, students underrepresented in STEM careers, and teachers from the metro Washington D.C. area. For some students, the Thinkabit Lab experience will offer a first introduction to hands-on STEM learning and real-world careers.
“The work that Qualcomm and Virginia Tech are doing at the new Thinkabit Lab is remarkable,” said Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf. “Beyond being a space to inspire the next generation of inventors, it will allow to us to leverage the expertise of both organizations, and through research and practical application, we will bring new advancements to STEM education at all levels.”
The lab will serve as a cornerstone facility, leveraging Virginia Tech’s academic depth in engineering and education, to develop educators who may lead further Thinkabit inspired, innovative STEM experiences in schools and community programs. Additionally, faculty research will assess how the program impacts students’ access to STEM teaching and learning activities, and awareness of STEM education and career options. The findings will help to continue developing the Thinkabit Lab and STEM programs.
“We know that STEM skills can enhance every student’s future, regardless of their field of study, and we need to prepare both students and teachers to address the complex challenges of tomorrow,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands. “The Thinkabit collaboration with Qualcomm will allow us to join complementary strengths and work synergistically to create opportunities and lower barriers.”
The Thinkabit Lab has served more than 8,000 students and educators since launching at Qualcomm’s San Diego headquarters in 2014, and has been replicated in three middle schools and a library in San Diego. It provides students with a unique STEM and career exposure program.
About Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech, founded in 1872 as a land-grant institution, is currently ranked as a Top 25 Public University by US News & World Report and a Top 25 Public Research University by the National Science Foundation. Through a combination of its three missions of learning, discovery, and engagement, Virginia Tech continually strives to accomplish the charge of its motto: Ut Prosim (That I May Serve). As the Commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech serves a diverse population of 30,000+ students and 8000+ faculty and staff from over 100 countries, and is engaged in research around the world.
Qualcomm Incorporated is a world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies. Qualcomm Incorporated includes Qualcomm’s licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of its patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, substantially all of Qualcomm’s engineering, research and development functions, and substantially all of its products and services businesses, including its semiconductor business, QCT. For more than 30 years, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other. For more information, visit Qualcomm's website, OnQ blog, Twitter and Facebook pages.