Mentoring Young Minds

The key to engaging students in the classroom is delivering fundamental concepts in an interactive and fun way. When it comes to teaching engineering fundamentals to students, integrating the LEGO® robotics platform into math and science curricula is an effective way to teach programming, computer skills, design and validation concepts, teamwork, and other core engineering concepts.

NI has created robotics mentor programs in 14 of its worldwide offices. Through these programs, employee mentors work with local schools to implement or support robotics programs in the classroom, starting as early as first grade. NI provides trainings, materials, and weekly mentor support while students get hands-on experience building and programming robots using NI LabVIEW system design software—the same technology used by engineers and scientists to solve some of the world’s greatest engineering challenges.

Year In Review

In 2014, 260 NI employees served as robotics mentors, working directly in classrooms, after-school programs, or training mentors from other companies and organizations to work with classrooms. NI also continued its partnership with LEGO Education, providing software for the LEGO robotics platform including LEGO WeDo and LEGO MINDSTORMS® EV3 products.

Providing the software for this platform and the company’s in-classroom robotics mentoring program is just one way that NI helps educators create interactive, hands-on learning experiences that encourage students to become engineers and scientists. NI provides a complete continuum of products for students from primary school through college as well as courseware and resources for educators at every level.

Inspiration and teaching resources for the classroom | NI’s complete academic offering

Case Study: 40 NI Interns Share Their Engineering Minds

As part of its partnership with Huston-Tillotson University, NI funds the summer Austin Pre-Freshman Engineering Program, which is designed to provide encouragement and resources for high-achieving middle and high school students with an interest in STEM careers. In 2013, 40 interns from NI put their engineering talents to use at this camp by volunteering as robotics mentors. Throughout the summer, NI interns taught students how to program, build LEGO MINDSTORMS robots, and develop critical engineering and problem-solving skills.

Robotics at Davis Elementary School

Márton Teperics

Student of Tóth Árpád Grammar School, Debrecen, Hungary

“As a student, the NI Robotics Mentor Program inspired me to study science and engineering. Through innovative education products like LEGO MINDSTORMS and LabVIEW, I could easily implement my creative ideas. Ultimately, NI gave me the lifelong target to resolve the challenges of the 21st century as an engineer. Over the years, I’ve stayed connected with NI and even was a summer intern in their Debrecen office. I now mentor younger students in my institution and hope to have a similar impact.”

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