Global STEM Corps
The Global STEM Corps (GSC) is FIRST Global’s 21st century answer to a world in need of an inspired generation of young adults who are ready to tackle global challenges. Qualified GSC volunteers mentor FIRST Global national teams either via the GSC Hotline, or on a more personal ongoing basis by “adopting a nation” while that country’s team builds its robot. By working with students around the world as they engineer their robots, GSC volunteers help FIRST Global competitors attain all they are capable of and inspire them to pursue fulfilling, exciting, and rewarding lives through STEM. These community-based volunteers range from high school and college students with robotics experience, to entire university robotics and engineering departments. The Global STEM Corps brings the universal elements of science, cooperation, and competition to the world stage.
GSC’s mission is to work with FIRST Global to equip, train, mentor, and inspire hundreds of students from over 100 different countries participating in the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge – which will be held 17 and 18 July at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. The FIRST Global game is a yearly robotics event focused on promoting STEM education and addressing one of the 14 National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges. The robotics game is being implemented in collaboration with the US National Academy of Engineering, Chinese Academy of Engineering, and Royal Academy of Engineering.
GSC will pair its volunteer mentors with students in different regions around the world where young adults rarely have access to the levels of funding that are necessary to pursue serious STEM education. GSC volunteers will use their knowledge and excitement for STEM to not just increase opportunities for FIRST Global participants, but to inspire them to become the next generation of Albert Einsteins, Mae Jemisons, or Stephen Hawkings.
Why Global STEM Corps?
In recent decades, higher-income nations have made significant advances and investments in STEM education, which have led to many of the most important discoveries of the modern era – from high-speed processors and hybrid engines, to advanced prosthetics and miniaturized drones. Unfortunately, since similar investments are not being made in less economically fortunate nations, hundreds of millions of students in the very countries where STEM education is most needed are being left behind – and will continue to be unless those with the knowledge and drive to make a difference step in to help.
What Do Volunteers Do?
As a GSC volunteer you will have the opportunity to interact with individuals from dozens of countries and backgrounds online and over the phone from your home, office, or anywhere else with an internet connection!
Volunteers will be tasked with virtually mentoring FIRST Global teams in countries ranging from Honduras and Rwanda, to Afghanistan and Nepal. GSC mentors will accomplish this goal in one of two ways. The first way is as a hotline operator who fields questions from any team that calls in needing assistance. The second is as a Team Advisor where one volunteer or group of volunteers adopt a country and works with them on a weekly basis to prepare them for the FIRST Global Challenge.
In March 2017, student teams around the world will receive their build kits for the FIRST Global Challenge. To prepare for the receipt of the robot kits in March, volunteers will begin connecting with teams online and over the phone in early February to guide them, share their experiences, and impart the best principles of the scientific community.
GSC Volunteer Time Commitments
GSC Hotline volunteers are asked to make a commitment to work at least one three hour shift each week. GSC Team Advisor are asked to make themselves available to the team(s) they adopt for at least six hours each week, with the time spent mentoring students spread throughout the week. If more than one person adopts a team (e.g., a group of two or three individuals work together to help a single nation), the time commitment from each person could be less, so long as the team continues to receive the level of help it needs to finish its robot.
What Qualifications do I Need?
- Must be fluent in English.
- Must have access to a computer and reliable internet service.
- Must be available for a minimum of three hours per week (the more, the better).
- Must commit to being a mentor through the end of the build period (March 7 – July 13).
- Must have experience with or a passion for robotics, engineering, programing, or electronics.
- A passion for spreading knowledge and connecting with people all over the world.
- Foreign language skills are a plus but not required.
Preferred Experience/Qualifications In at Least One of the Following Areas:
- Basic mechanical engineering experience (particularly with robotic kit assembly systems).
- Proficiency in programming with Java (particularly within Android Studios) or other image based programming systems (such as Google Blockly).
What Countries are Participating in the FIRST Global Challenge?
Countries that will be participating in the FIRST Global Challenge – and may require Global STEM Corps mentors – are shown below:
Ready to Join?
Global STEM Corps needs people like YOU to help build the most successful, technologically capable generation to date. Join us now to show that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can create a better world for everyone.
How to Apply
If you are a member of a group interested in organizing other members of your group to become GSC mentors, please apply at http://bit.ly/GSCgroupApplication
If you are an individual interested in becoming a GSC mentor, please apply at http://bit.ly/GSCindividualApplication
All questions about becoming a GSC mentor may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.