Schneider Electric inspires STEM careers through FIRST Robotics

Schneider Electric inspires STEM careers through FIRST Robotics

 August 13, 2019

Women working with Schneider Electrc has the opoprtunity to inspire young people through exciting partnerships. In a thought-provoking blog post, Schneider Electric's Kevin Self discusses the company's support of the FIRST Robotics program and how the world’s biggest problems need STEM educated women and men to solve them.

Kevin writes: "Personally, I believe organizations like FIRST Robotics are the best solution to truly create the problem solvers of the future. FIRST engages young girls and boys to work collaboratively to solve problems. Their robotics programs begin in grade school with Legos, up through high school where students build and program 100+ pound robots. But it’s more than just robots."

FIRST is a global program, with 550,000+ students in over 100 countries. FIRST unites students of all cultural backgrounds on the laws of physics, math, and science. It provides a playing field where they can work together, teach other, and come to a solution based on these scientific principles.

FIRST is given a helping hand by Schneider Electric mentors

Kevin joined Schneider Electric in 2015 and early on found a couple of very passionate FIRST mentors. He realized that for Schneider to remain competitive in the talent market, the company should be engaging “future colleagues” at an earlier age.

He explains: "I can think of many reasons why companies should be proactive in engaging young leaders to pursue an interest in STEM. From a business standpoint, an affiliation with FIRST strongly promotes our company brand (globally), generates strong awareness with students about Schneider Electric and our focus in the STEM fields, and draws us very close with key customers."

But the reason to be involved goes far beyond brand promotion. Schneider is committed to sustainability and carbon neutrality. Schneider believes meaningful action and inspiring the younger generation is the only path to a sustainable world.

Kevin says: "Every day we’re reminded of the urgency of the climate crisis and inspired by those who are rising to meet the challenge head on. Limiting global temperature rise is essential if we are to avoid widespread, disastrous ecological problems. And these massive global problems are why we need talented, smart, STEM educated women and men to help solve them."

Schneider Electric’s involvement with FIRST offers key support

When Kevin joined Schneider, the company began to search out other mentors to get involved with FIRST. When Schneider began officially sponsoring FIRST in 2016, it sponsored 16 teams.  Over the years its monetary support and its number of sponsored teams have grown. In the 2018-2019 school year, Schneider donated $150,000 to over 46 teams, a 64% increase over the prior year.

In April of 2018 and 2019, multiple Schneider Electric sponsored teams competed in the Detroit and Houston FIRST Robotics World Championships. 

Kevin said: "I am proud that our Schneider Electric involvement continues to grow. My aspiration is to increase our total number of sponsored teams to 75 in the 2019/2020 season with an investment of $200,000+."

The best companies grow and develop 'future colleagues'

Kevin became engaged with FIRST in 2001 when his then 9-year old came home from school and said he needed to start a FIRST Robotics team with Legos. Now, two of Kevin's sons are now engineers and his youngest son is a sophomore college engineering student who participated on FIRST teams throughout middle and high school and mentored a team while in high school. 

Kevin's wife Louisa has been a FIRST mentor for the past 12 years – starting multiple new teams during that time period and being the driving force behind her local K-8 school’s ambition to build out a Robotics/Technology Laboratory.

Kevin concludes: "I believe strongly in FIRST which is why I have been so involved for the past 18 years. I believe it is one of the best organizations to a) educate and develop our future colleagues, b) highlight our company and the great work we are delivering as the US energy landscape dramatically changes and c) engage with our Schneider Electric mentors."

Further your career with prime employer, Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric is a progessive company for women worldwide who are looking to further their careers.

Take a look at some of Schneider Electric's latest job vacancies to see what career opportunities are on offer and the skills and experience required.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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