The high demand for STEM jobs is making it tough on recruiters to find skilled workers who can fill these roles—and a new generation of talent is the answer. On April 18, CareerBuilder and Georgia Tech’s College of Computing will host the inaugural “CareerBuilder Robotics Challenge” – a new effort to expose school children to the creative art of programming by inviting them to build their own robots for a competitive soccer game.
It’s also an initiative to build the next generation of skilled workers who are comfortable and fluent in tech-speak and using skills in science, technology, engineering and math.
WHAT: ‘CareerBuilder Robotics Challenge’
WHEN: Saturday, April 18. 10 am – 2 pm
WHERE: Georgia Institute of Technology Klaus Advanced Computing Building – Atrium 266 Ferst Drive, Atlanta, GA 30332
For the past six weeks, middle and high-school students have been creating and programming individual “QBots” for the tournament. The 7-inch square robots are powered by an Ardunio microcontroller and controlled with either a homemade Bluetooth remote or Google Android phone. The outer shell of the robot is made with construction paper and popsicle sticks, decorated by the student as an expression of the creator. Students will be randomly assigned a teammate on the day of the tournament and two-person teams will compete in a World Cup-style tournament complete with team jerseys.
“America needs more programmers and we believe that today’s students need to see computing as both a necessary skill as well as a tool of expression and problem solving,” says Cedric Stallworth, assistant dean for the Office of Outreach, Enrollment and Community at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing. “Just like authors of the world have used the fundamental skill of writing to impact their time, we want to expose today’s children to computing as a fundamental skill that can change their world.”
Georgia Tech hopes that this will be the first of many such competitions, Stallworth says, with Atlanta-area students and community partners, such as CareerBuilder.
“Employers are struggling to fill IT and engineering roles, and that talent gap will only become wider in the years to come,” says Eric Presley, chief technology officer at CareerBuilder. “Working with Georgia Tech, CareerBuilder is hoping to inspire the next generation of workers to pursue technology-related career paths and open the door to new possibilities.”
If you’re not able to get to Atlanta this weekend, though, here are other great resources to check out on empowering opportunities in technology: