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Virginia Tech Initiative With Qualcomm to Expose Students to STEM


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Liana Remick, 8, explains her Thinkabit Lab project to QualComm senior vice president of engineering Susie Armstrong and chief executive Steve Mollenkopf.

A new partnership between Virginia Polytechnic Instutute and State University and chip manufacturer Qualcomm has resulted in a new STEM-focused learning classroom on the universitys Northern Virginia campus.

Credit: Logan Wallace/Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and computer chip manufacturer Qualcomm have teamed up to open a new Thinkabit lab at the university's Northern Virginia campus, aimed at exposing students to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

"The important thing for students coming out here is that students learn there is a place for them in the world," says Qualcomm's Susie Armstrong.

Qualcomm's first Thinkabit lab opened in San Diego more than a year ago and has served 8,000 students around California across four other locations.

The Virginia Tech lab is free for community groups and all school districts in the Washington, D.C., area. Over the course of the six-hour program, students will learn about STEM career opportunities and engage in various activities and projects. Virginia Tech president Timothy Sands had pushed for a program to introduce students as young as middle-schoolers to STEM as part of a broader effort to prepare the university for the evolving needs of the workforce.

"The jobs that are going to be growing is the intersection of social science and technology," Sands says. "But the thing about technology is it changes rapidly."

From The Washington Post
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