Building our communities: Engineering Experiences

Engineering Experiences is Rockwell Collins' educational outreach, a series of programs offering students of all ages the opportunity to take part in hands-on, project based learning. These activities involve employees and retirees who support classroom learning with interactive experiences and mentoring relationships.

The FIRST® Connection

The anchor of Engineering Experiences is a partnership with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a multinational nonprofit organization inspiring young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in exciting, mentor-based programs. Our partnership includes team and tournament support, teacher training and rewards, and Rockwell Collins employee and retiree involvement. FIRST has a global reach, making these programs available to students located anywhere in the world.

Rockwell Collins is the Official Program Sponsor of the high-school-targeted FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), offering a head-to-head robot competition in a sports model. Students work in teams to design, test and program larger-scale robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. FTC works as an after-school or club activity and is reaching more students – especially those in communities with fewer resources – through its affordable, flexible model. In 2016/17, Rockwell Collins was a sponsor for FTC Super Regionals, events that gave teams from multiple states the opportunity to connect and compete with their robots prior to the World Championship.

In FIRST LEGO® League (FLL), our engineers provide guidance to elementary and middle school students as they build LEGO-based robots to complete tasks or missions on a thematic playing field. Rockwell Collins has committed to increase the number of FLL teams in Rockwell Collins communities across the United States to involve and inspire more students at an early age.

Rockwell Collins has been a long-time supporter of FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams. Our engineers are matched with a team of high school students and tasked with planning, building, and programming a large-scale robot over a period of six weeks. Rockwell Collins will continue to sustain the FRC teams as we know the FRC program keeps students challenged and interested in STEM programming through their high school career.

Engineers Week

Rockwell Collins is a proud supporter of Engineers Week (EWeek) and participates in EWeek activities across the globe each February as a way to both recognize and reward our employees for their contributions, and as a way to encourage young people to consider engineering as a career. In addition to formal activities like Introduce a Girl to Engineering, employee volunteers coordinate hands-on activities for K-12 students, take part in engineering challenges, and engage math and science educators in special events during this week.

Project Lead the Way

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) classrooms are unlike any others, pairing students with innovative and effective educators and using the latest software and project-based approaches to explore relevant STEM issues. An engaging, hands-on curriculum encourages the development of problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning and a love of learning. Rockwell Collins supports PLTW by hosting student tours, funding teacher training and empowering employees to serve as teachers.

Job shadowing and internships

Each year Rockwell Collins facilities open their doors to over 750 students for job shadows, tours and internships. High school students shadow a Rockwell Collins professional for half a day as an introduction to a potential career. High school juniors and seniors can also learn how business operates and apply classroom concepts to real-world situations while exploring future careers through longer-term internships at Rockwell Collins facilities.

Other experiences

Our employees work with students during and beyond the school day to mentor and support a variety of activities and organizations, such as:

In addition, Rockwell Collins employees actively tutor and mentor individual students, participate in pen pal programs, judge STEM-related competitions and speak at area schools about their careers and cultural experiences.

Meet Satya Kiran Kumpatla, senior software engineer in Hyderabad, India, who led a team of volunteers to provide schoolchildren in an impoverished area of the city with essential materials for learning.
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