Education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fosters a passion for innovation and encourages talented young people from a range of diverse backgrounds to become the next generation of engineers. For the 2021-22 academic year, Aptiv employees volunteered more than 5,500 hours of their time providing STEM mentorship to students and helping to make STEM-related events at the local and region level happen.
FIRST and Aptiv: A long history
FIRST’s mission is to inspire young people to engage in science and technology. The organization runs numerous robotics competitions around the world at all grade levels, providing participants with hands-on experience in programming and engineering. Team mentors offer children an opportunity to learn directly from professionals.
Aptiv is one of FIRST’s founding sponsors. Since the start of our partnership in 2001, we have contributed more than $2 million to support FIRST events, team programs and alumni scholarships. Through the Aptiv Foundation, we gave $200,000 both in sponsorships to various FIRST robotics teams and events and scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year alone, and we sponsor teams at all levels in the United States, Mexico, and Morocco, spanning grades K-12.
A personal difference
Lisa Savage, Aptiv’s SOTIF (Safety of the Intended Functionality) technical lead, knows from personal experience the positive role FIRST can have on a child’s education. During Lisa’s sophomore year of high school, in 2002, her participation on an Aptiv-mentored FIRST robotics team introduced her to the prospect of a career in engineering. She benefited further from an Aptiv scholarship that helped her to pursue engineering degrees at the University of Michigan. Now, Lisa works at Aptiv and serves as a FIRST mentor for the same high school team she joined 20 years ago.
“I actually didn’t know what engineering was, and the mentors that I had gave me the greatest opportunity to work side by side with them,” Savage said. “And I just want to make sure to be able to give that opportunity to the students.”
Our partnership with FIRST is just one example of our commitment to STEM outreach. Through our global efforts to educate women and girls about careers in technology, our contributions to Girls Who Code, and our recently established coding and technician apprenticeship program, we strive to provide people from diverse backgrounds with meaningful educational opportunities.