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|Memphis Community Outreach|
Community Outreach Program
Inspired by a passion for IT, the SIM Memphis Chapter strives to promote the IT profession through various outreach initiatives that provide educational opportunities for young people.
Annually, the Memphis SIM Chapter produces a Strategy Series for Executives. This local event is the primary funding vehicle for community programs sponsored by SIM Memphis. SIM has been able to expand its reach over the last few years to now include multiple avenues of support in the communities where we live. There are three annual week-long Teen Tech Camps (TTC); Robotic teams and programs through High School FIRST Robotics, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis Lego and Shelby County Schools; STEM presentations to grade school and middle school classes; and SIM IT scholarship programs at both The University of Memphis and LeMoyne-Owen College.
Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis Lego Robotics
A Lego Mindstorm EV3 robot costs $350. A set of batteries costs $10. The excitement on a young boy’s or girl’s face as they see the BOT move for the first time under the commands of the program they built, PRICE-LESS! Working with BGCM – The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, SIM has funded two clubs to start a Lego Robotics program. It started in January of 2015 at the Bernal Smith Club on Ross Road and the Ira Samelson Club near Grahamwood School. Student ages range from as young as nine years old and up to fifteen years old. They learn to make the robot move forward, backward, turn, follow a line, recognize colors and follow a programmed path to achieve a goal. And they do all of this without writing a single line of code. It is all done by connecting various objects together and setting their parameters. Our hope is that we can get young students to develop an interest in technology careers by seeing how much fun they can be and discussing how rewarding they can be.
Shelby County Schools Funding for First Lego League
We also give a check to Shelby County Schools to fund some of the schools in the First Lego League Competitions. Visit the Memphis First Web site for details on their goals and progress: http://memphisfirstteams.org/
High School FIRST Robotics Competitions
Since the fall of 2014, SIM has been a sponsor of three high school teams that compete in FIRST ROBTICS competitions in places like Atlanta, Chattanooga, Little rock and Huntsville. These teams each consist of about twenty students and they have six weeks to build and program robots out of aluminum, steel, plastic and wood using real world professional components like servo motors, gears, pneumatics and programmable controllers. The programming is so sophisticated that they even use cameras to see objects to target and measure distances. They also use accelerometers and gyros to determine the direction that the robot faces and the angle of its orientation.
SIM has been a sponsor for White Station High School, Collierville High School and MBA – Memphis Business Academy. These competitions expose the students to others around the region and to the exciting potential of careers in technology areas. Check out the robotics pages for each school by clicking on the high school name.
SIM Members Ed Charbonnet and Josh Siddon present check to FIRST Robotics
TEEN TECH CAMP
Teen Tech Camp is an annual week long program produced by SIM Memphis in conjunction with the Memphis Public Library. The purpose of the camp is to help get young people excited about technology while they are still considering their future career opportunities - perhaps they will choose IT as a career path after participating in the camp! The camp is targeted at 12-15 year olds and exposes kids to various careers in IT as well as introduces them to emerging technologies. Attendees who are selected pay nothing to attend. The group is diverse and is comprised mostly of students from public schools.
Gary Lasko Memorial Scholarship
Remembering those who lost their lives in the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks on the Word Trade Center …
James Robinson Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund
Featured from left to right are Christi Daigre, SIM LeMoyne-Owen Scholarship Sub-Committee Chair, Mark Stansbury, Interim Vice President Institutional Advancement LeMoyne-Owen, SIM Scholarship Recipient, Kenneth Ray, and Jana Branham, SIM Community Outreach Chair, at the annual LeMoyne-Owen Annual Scholarship Luncheon held on March 30, 2009
Tax deductible gifts to fund the SIM James Robinson Memorial Scholarship fund should be addressed to:
IT Career Day at the University of Memphis
The Memphis Chapter of the Society for Information Management sponsors Career Day at the University of Memphis to stimulate student’s interest in a career in Information Technology. Career Day is open to all higher education institutions in Memphis. The session consists of speakers and interactive discussions about potential careers in the field of Information Technology Management.
Memphis SIM Member Kevin Morgan Leads a Discussing During IT Career Day 2008 at The University of Memphis
SIM Members Participate in a Panel Discussion at IT Career Day 2008 at The University of Memphis
The Stax Music Academy is one of the major programs of the Soulsville Foundation, a non-profit organization, created to serve the South Memphis neighborhood of Soulsville, USA. Along with the Soulsville Charter School, the Stax Music Academy's mission is to produce students who will be able to read, communicate effectively and possess high-order thinking skills through the interconnectedness of academics and music.
The event also coincided with Stax Records’ 50th anniversary and provided a great forum for SIM to auction a one-of-a-kind Gibson guitar made in Memphis and autographed by many famous artists, producers, and engineers of the Stax era – Memphis legends. Signatures on the guitar include such greats as "Soul Man” guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald "Duck” Dunn, both founding members of the Stax supergroup Booker T and the MGs, Isaac Hayes, members of the Bar-Kays and a rare autograph of Stax founder Jim Stewart. Immediately after signing, Steve Cropper became the first person to actually play the guitar. He gave it a quick tune-up then strummed a few bars of "Soul Man," the song Steve played in the Aykroyd-Belushi movie Blues Brothers.
The auction along with proceeds from the event allowed the Memphis SIM Chapter to donate $19,376 to benefit the Stax Academy after school program which combines music and technology education and provides an opportunity for disadvantaged students interested in studying the use of technology in music production and management to learn more about the technology of making music. The funds were used to help refurbish and upgrade the recording studio and control room used by the program.
SIM Memphis donation presented to Marc Willis, Soulsville Foundation CEO, and Kerry Hayes, Development Manager for the Soulsville Foundation, by Memphis Chapter SIM president, Rick Pride, and former SIM president, Susan Caldwell.
Subsequent to the event, SIM Memphis has continued its support of Stax/Soulville, most recently with the Business Speaker program whereby business people visit the school at lunchtime and talk about their job, the education needed for their profession, and what they like about their job. The business luncheon exposes their students to various career opportunities that they might not have known about or considered for themselves.