Qualcomm launches STEM education initiatives for underrepresented girls with United Way of Hyderabad and Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement

-The program aims to inspire greater diversity in the fields of science and technology, and expanding opportunities for underrepresented students-

Bangalore, June 12 2017 – Qualcomm India, in association with United Way of Hyderabad and Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, has launched a flagship project – Qualcomm® aqriti™ – promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education among underprivileged girls. The initiative aims to provide increased access to STEM education and to address community perceptions on gender equality through various outreach programs. Through this collaboration, Qualcomm will contribute to building facilities that enable a quality education for girls in schools.

Qualcomm aqriti has been launched in Hyderabad and Bengaluru in association with United Way of Hyderabad and Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement respectively. The project will focus on providing STEM labs and learning tools which help students to strengthen the concepts in Science and Mathematics. It will also provide technical mentorship and allied activities including special coaching, exposure visits and soft skills training like digital literacy, basic English, robotics. To motivate students and enhance their interest, the initiative will also provide scholarships and rewards for top performing students pursuing higher education in STEM fields.

“At Qualcomm we deeply care for STEM education, and by contributing to initiatives like Qualcomm aqriti we aim at inspiring greater diversity in these fields and expanding opportunities for underrepresented girl students,” said Archana Nirwan, senior director of Human Resources, Qualcomm Incorporated. “We strongly believe that supporting STEM learning and encouraging young women to pursue STEM careers will empower a new generation of great innovators, support women’s and girls’ economic and social advancement and provide technology companies with the diverse skills and perspectives needed to thrive.

“With initiatives like ‘aqriti’ we are going to create a world with equal opportunities for both girls and boys. With support from Qualcomm, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement and United Way of Hyderabad, we will create an inclusive work force that will not only provide us with innovations but will also help us develop new set of solutions to deal with challenges in the future,” said, Shri Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce (I&C) and Information Technology (IT) Departments, Telangana Government.

“United Way of Hyderabad is excited to be associated with this cause. We firmly believe that the solutions we create for communities around the world go beyond short-term welfare of the society. It’s not just the students, but the families as well who benefit from this STEM education program. Through Qualcomm aqriti we are going to encourage young girls in the field of Science and Technology so that they are equipped with to deal with real world problems,” said Ms. Rekha Srinivasan, Executive Director, United Way of Hyderabad.

“Through the years, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement has made a conscious effort to create experiential and child-centered learning. Along with Qualcomm and United Way of Hyderabad, we are bringing students and educators into a dedicated space to foster problem-solving, creativity and collaboration to help develop critical skills needed for today’s jobs,” said Shri Praveen Kumar S, Joint Secretary and Director Science Education, Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement.

The improvement of STEM infrastructure in schools (co-ed as well as girls schools) as well as on-ground engagement with local communities and families on the importance of education and STEM, will aid in boosting girl child enrolment rates in schools in the long run, reduction in dropout rates of girls and increase in girl students’ enrolment in long term STEM related careers.