By Chris Gilligan, Commercial Services, Xerox
When I was a kid, summer camp usually meant a week with the Boy Scouts or 4-H – literally camping – or a sports camp. These days, they have a camp for everything – including some that help start kids on the path to a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career. Kids don’t know it – they’re too busy having fun building and programming Lego robots and battling them in sumo wrestling-style competitions.
Last year through a partnership with IEEE, an engineering group that is the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology, Xerox bought every elementary school in Lexington, KY three Lego Robots to use in class to teach STEM skills.
This summer, IEEE and Xerox are putting on camps in Lexington where kids build robots, program them, and compete in sumo wrestling competitions. It’s cool. Check out these photos and videos. Keep in mind these are fourth graders.
With 3,200 employees in Lexington, Xerox is the largest private employer in town and needs to invest where we work. But we need to invest in these kids now so they can become the next generation of engineers and scientists to lead Xerox and our country to even greater success.
A recent report by Brookings says there are 26 million STEM jobs in the US – that’s 20% of all jobs in the country. And those figures are growing.
Where are we going to find people to fill all those jobs and invent the future? Maybe at robotics camps in Lexington, Kentucky. It’s certainly a great place to start.
Chris Gilligan works in communications for Xerox commercial services. He’s more than a little jealous they didn’t have these camps when he was a kid and that he’s too old to attend one now.