Inspiring Our Future Innovators Through Awareness

Inspiring Our Future Innovators

Robots come in all shapes and sizes and so do the grassroots activities and events taking place during National Robotics Week

Activities range from building and coding a robot to robotics competitions. Whatever it may be, the mission is simple — to inspire students in STEM-related (science, technology, engineering and math) fields and to share the excitement of robotics with audiences of all ages.

In my role with Rockwell Automation, I have the privilege to lead our company’s engagement during Robotics Week with Wisconsin’s science and technology center, Discovery World in Milwaukee.

Last year, I took my then fourth-grade daughter to the Robotics Week celebration at Discovery World and it proved to be a game-changer. 

She had the opportunity to work alongside our company’s female leaders from our Society of Women Engineers (SWE) employee resource group.

After learning from them about the robotics activities at our demonstration table, she started showing the activities to other children.  She was excited and confident, and it was through that experience that she discovered she would like to be an engineer.

Blog: STEM is Saving Lives

Now, I understand that this may change over time, but I know that if I continue to expose her to STEM learning opportunities it will certainly help her discover more of her passions, abilities and build her confidence. That’s why programs taking place during Robotics Week are important to boost awareness of the opportunities in STEM to help inspire our next generation of innovators.

While I have a personal interest in my daughter’s education, our company has strategically focused our philanthropic support on programs that create a passion for STEM early in the education process. To learn more, please see our Corporate Responsibility Report.

Are you looking for a way to encourage a young person's interest in STEM? Help us unite, mobilize and support our engineering and technology volunteer communities. Here are just a few of the organizations and activities we support:

  • Project Lead The Way (PLTW): Volunteer at a school near you. If your local school does not currently offer PLTW, encourage them to consider implementing this program.
  • FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology): Volunteer at events, coach a team, or be a fan in the stands (all FIRST competitions are free to the public and family-friendly).
  • ST Math: Our newest key STEM program partner, ST Math uses game-based instructional software to boost math comprehension and proficiency for K-12 students. Play some sample games.
  • With a local school: Contact a school in your area to see if they would be willing to have you talk to their students about engineering or your career journey.
  • With a local science museum: Contact a science museum in your community to see if there are any opportunities for you to volunteer with a group of kids on a skill-based project, or, if you're in a technical role, by sharing your technical journey and background with a brief presentation.

Every lifesaving discovery, every innovation that will make our world more productive and sustainable, will come from children who right now are sitting in classrooms, learning that science, technology, and problem-solving are fun and rewarding – and are proven paths to successful careers.

National Robotics Week is April 7-15 so go see what’s happening in your area. Inspire and bring awareness by hosting an event in your community, sponsoring or attending a local event, or spreading the word on social media (#RoboWeek). 

Stacy Zaja
Posted March 28, 2018 By Stacy Zaja, Global Community Relations and Contributions Program Manager, Rockwell Automation
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