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|Memphis Outreach Programs|
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 that started in July of 2005. In 2015 the program expanded to a second Memphis Library – Whitehaven – and to Horn Lake in Desoto County, MS. 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 twelve to fifteen 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.
At the camp the students learn to write apps for cell phones and tablets. They also receive a presentation each of the five mornings on the business uses of technology focusing particularly on the classic “Order to Cash” process for a jump rope manufacturing company. They learn about how critical technology is to the ordering, manufacturing, warehousing and delivery processes. During these lectures the students use bar code scanners to simulate each process and then on Thursday they actually do the manufacturing of their jump ropes. Check out the link to the Memphis library page for more information and how SIM was involved.
STEM PRESENTATIONS TO CLASSROOMS
A team of SIM professional makes periodic presentations to school classrooms at grade school and middle school levels. The goal is to give the students a chance to meet technology professionals and learn early in their school years about how exciting and rewarding such careers can be. We also emphasize that such jobs are far more diverse than simply sitting in cubicles writing lines of code. The presentations consist of a few videos and PowerPoint slides but mostly involves a chance for the students to hear the personal stories of these professionals. In some of the visits, the team brings some BSO – Bright Shiny Objects – of technology to let the students touch and work with these. As you can see in these pictures, the students are fascinated by seeing and touching the insides of a desktop computer.
SIM Member Jana Markowitz helps the girls at St. Mary's school
In the fall of 2014, SIM made a $10,000 contribution to the brand new Memphis Public Library technology center for teens. This innovative center is well equipped with computers, audio and video equipment that gives the students many chances to experience exciting technology that they are not likely to experience at home or school. Check out what is currently going on with Cloud901!
SIM members David Ulloa, Kevin Morgan, Ed Charbonnet, Jarret Morgan, Jana Markowitz and Danita Macon Present check to the Library Leaders
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: