Qualcomm, IIE Expand Program to Build Pipeline of Girls in Tech
New camps for girls and boys to be launched following first cohort's success
SAN DIEGO, July 12, 2016—This summer, thirty middle school girls will graduate from Qcamp for Girls in STEM, developed and implemented by Qualcomm Incorporated and the Institute of International Education (IIE). This year marks the third year of Qcamp for Girls, a two-week, free-of-charge intensive summer camp designed to introduce and solidify middle school students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Following the success of the first cohort of students, Qualcomm and IIE will expand Qcamp for Girls to include a new class of sixth grade girls in July, as well as launch Qcamp for Kids in STEM, a new one-week, co-ed program for sixth graders, both girls and boys, in August.
The two new Qcamps will connect 60 students from the Vista Unified School District – home to more than 6,000 students, many who are learning English as a second language – with a range of first-hand engineering experiences that give campers insight into how technology is used in our everyday world. Campers will also engage in practices such as team problem-solving, communication, prototyping, documentation, and presentation. The initiative is a high-touch, on-going program designed to develop long-term interest in technology and a support network for young girls and now boys as well. To keep students interested and connected after the Qcamps, Qualcomm and IIE will invite campers to participate in related activities throughout the year, including mentoring opportunities, hackathons, and tinkering events. Campers will also be encouraged to serve as engineering ambassadors at their schools, and will influence many other students with new skills and ideas about technology.
Qcamp for Girls was launched in 2014 for incoming sixth grade girls from San Diego Unified School District in California; all thirty students will graduate this August. Qcamp students meet and engage with professional engineers, learn about engineering tools and their applications, explore the engineering design process, build their own projects, and meet new friends inside the Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™ at the Company’s headquarters in San Diego. Qcamp features fun-filled content with a strong emphasis on engineering, teaching campers how technologies such as robots, apps, and wireless control play a role in our world. At each camp, students will work in teams to build hands-on projects that combine science and art, build their knowledge and skills in engineering, coding and using mobile devices as tools, keep a scrapbook and write reflections.
The University of California, Berkeley has been involved since the beginning of the program, conducting a longitudinal study on the impact of the programs. The preliminary results have shown that Qcamp has increased the participants’ intent to include STEM in their lives at home and in school; it has developed awareness and interest in STEM careers, and increased and sustained high levels of the dispositions, skills and knowledge that enable success in STEM learning
“I hope that I get all that skills that I need to be an engineer to make the world a better place for animals, people, and plants,” said a 2015 camper who will be among the 90 students who will participate in three separate Qcamps this summer.
“It’s probably the best camp I’ve been to. I like how it’s hands-on. I probably learned more in these two weeks than I would in a month of school,” said another 2015 camper.
IIE has led numerous programs across the world that aim to increase access to education, including STEM education, particularly among marginalized communities. After decades of experience engaging schools, universities, and governments to expand broad participation in educational opportunities, IIE launched the WeTech consortium in 2013 to engage companies in efforts that foster access to education in the global communities where they work and in building a future talent pool for their industry. Qualcomm has been a lead partner in the initiative since its inception.
Qualcomm is supporting the next generation of inventors and technologists by increasing access to STEM education through programs that reach students at all levels, from grade school through graduate school. Qualcomm STEM activities are aimed at inspiring greater diversity in STEM fields and expanding opportunities for underrepresented students.