For the past two years, Motorola Mobility Foundation, women at Moto and Project Exploration have partnered to provide the Innovation Launchpad Spring Break Camp, a girls only, week-long day camp that engages students in STEM during Chicago Public Schools’ spring break.
Motorola Mobility Foundation supports PE’s mission to encourage STEM participation from under-served youth, particularly girls. “Women at Moto”, an employee resource group at Motorola Mobility, a Lenovo Company, has collaborated with the Motorola Mobility Foundation to create programs for girls at Project Exploration in addition to ongoing initiatives that encourage STEM education.
The Innovation Launchpad Spring Break Camp leverages the time and talent of women at Moto to give girls examples of positive female role models in STEM fields while exposing them to curriculum that covers product development, communication and critical problem solving skills.
Motorola Mobility Foundation is proud to host ongoing field trips at their main office throughout the year, exposing students to the engineers and labs that keep Motorola and Lenovo at the front of innovation in technology. Seeing different professionals in design, engineering and corporate functions makes a connection for students and shows them what careers in STEM look like.
The Foundation works with other organizations and programs that share its mission to bolster STEAM education. Beyond Project Exploration, the Foundation is proud to partner with Citizen Schools and Illinois Science & Technology Institute, the non-profit arm of the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. Through the robust mentorship opportunities provided in ISTI’s R&D STEM Challenge and Citizen Schools’ 10-week mentorship program, Motorolans are able to have a positive impact and connection with students in STEM around the year.
The Foundation’s partnership with PE advances corporate responsibility goals, ensuring the next generation is prepared, talented and has had the right exposure to quality programming. The partnership encourages Motorola’s employees to give back to the community, while also creating relationships across the company and its departments, eventually breaking down silos and helping with the business’ efficiency.
It is part of Motorola’s corporate identity to give back to the community in a variety of ways. Promoting STEM is ingrained into what people view as part of their role at Motorola. So many people have years and years of professional experience and are hoping to pass that knowledge on to the next generation. Motorolans deliver a high-quality and thoughtful approach in every project they work on work or volunteer. This passion for detail made it easy for Motorola Mobility to partner with PE. The “Women at Moto” group developed and delivered their own week-long curriculum. The logistical planning and expertise in the curriculum they developed provide real-life examples of women in STEM, leading the way for the next generation of girls.
The “Women at Moto” group had the opportunity to ask a male executive “What do you think is the main trait of a woman who rises to the ‘C-suite’ that differentiates her from other women?” He answered, “Confidence.” On the first day of working with the PE, the girls are asked to stand up and introduce themselves. Their presentation skills and confidence are low; they’re feeling really insecure and hesitant. By the end of the week, they can stand up in the corporate theater in front of a group of people that they don’t know and present their ideas with pride and smiles on their faces. Watching their confidence grow over the course of the week is so rewarding; that’s exactly the kind of change Motorola Mobility is trying to make. Additionally, the women remember girls from year to year and iterate and improve the curriculum as they strive to build lasting relationships with the youth they work with and improve the program year after year.