Mouser Engineers Week 2013. (Source: Submitted by Mouser with entry)
Through the years, Mouser Electronics has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to fostering education, particularly when it can inspire and engage students in STEM-related projects and initiatives. The company and its valued employees gladly give their resources, time, and expertise to help motivate new generations of engineers and scientists. Whether sponsoring a science or engineering fair, or giving students guidance and the parts to build robots, or mentoring students trying to build a solar car, or providing an uplink allowing students to talk with astronauts aboard the International Space Station, Mouser and its employees are a valued and trusted resource for schools, teachers, and students.
The gift of time and support
Mouser Electronics and its people have consistently given their resources, time, and expertise to their community, particularly in STEM-related educational initiatives, focusing on STEM. It is from this that Mouser hopes to inspire new generations of engineers and scientists to lead us forward.
National Engineers Week: Among the many educational events supported by Mouser in 2013 was National Engineers Week, an event celebrated at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Mouser hosted an array of engineering challenges and activities in its own company-branded Imaginer Studio, where museum visitors shared fun interactive experiences while learning how engineering affects everyday life. The goal was to spark imaginations while demonstrating cutting-edge technologies.
Sponsoring FIRST robotics competitions: In the Spring, Mouser was a key sponsor of the 2013 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Dallas Regionals and National Championships in St. Louis. Through FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), high school students team up with engineers, professors, and business people to solve real-world engineering challenges. In partnership with the Electronic Components Industry Association (ECIA), Mouser donated semiconductors and electronic components for the 2013 FIRST FRC Kits, from which teams built robots to compete.
Mouser Solar Car Challenge 2013. (Source: Mouser)
Supporting higher education:
Mouser is an active corporate member of ECEDHA (Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association), helping to support university curriculum and programs in the field of engineering. The distributor is a participant and exhibitor at the annual ECEDHA Conference.
Endowment: Mouser, in partnership with TTI, Inc., provides an endowment for the College of Engineering at UTA in Arlington. The endowment awards top engineering students and is given to the awardee(s) per semester to provide financial support.
Solar Car Challenge: Closer to home, Mouser supported students at Mansfield's Ben Barber Career Tech Academy in building a solar car for the Solar Car Challenge, a week-long race that began in Texas and ended in California in July. The City of Mansfield, home to Mouser's world headquarters, is a school district with more than 30,000 students. Mouser's sponsorship of the solar program included providing the newest technologies and electronic components for the car, as well as giving recommendations on development of the vehicle. For their efforts, the students received the State Energy Conservation Award from the State of Texas, as well as a special proclamation from the State Senate.
Supporting local community
Grant to local schools: In December, Mouser announced its sponsorship of a grant to support science and technology education at MISD schools. The 2013 grant, given through the MISD Education Foundation, will allow more students to participate in their schools' robotics programs, exposing them to the principles of engineering.
Gift of Wi-Fi: Mouser provides the annual WI-FI sponsorship at the Mansfield Activity Center, enabling thousands of patrons to utilize the Internet for research and homework.
Design contest: To foster innovation, Mouser has supported many design contests involving students, and plans to sponsor the Tech Briefs "Create the Future" design contest, as one example. Mouser is committed to supporting educators and students in STEM-based learning initiatives to pave the way for the future.
If you are interested in FIRST robotics, here is a story on EDN that talks about this year's FRC competition, where competitors have to complete their robot in a short time window. And, here's another story (shameless plug) that profiles the team my daughter competes with in FIRST Robotics FTC competition.
NI has also been involved with LEGO competitions, to the point where students use LabVIEW-based software to control robots. I recall an exhibit severalyears ago at the Boston Museum of Science on Lego Mindstorms.
Having witnessed the F.I.R.S.T. competions first-hand (sorry!), and as a mentor to Team 293 SPIKE, I would hands-down go with National Instruments. Their contributions to the electronic control and interface features on the robot challenges let high school students (and even some 8th-graders) gain the satisfaction, experience, and fun of creating a robot that they can control and be proud of.