News releases 2016
Atkins celebrates Engineers Week through mentoring, drones and a whole lot of heart - February 22, 2016
Atkins team members are combining a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with a commitment to encourage a generation of innovative industry leaders. Through The Atkins Foundation, programs and charities championed by employees are supported with grants that fund STEM initiatives and scholarships. To date the Foundation has awarded nearly $2.5 million in grants to programs in communities throughout the U.S.
“I am amazed at the enthusiastic pursuit of possibilities by our future engineers and the poise they exhibit when presenting to professionals in the industry, taking part in competitions or teaching younger students about STEM,” said L. Joe Boyer, CEO, Atkins, North America. “And the dedication of our Atkins mentors who pour their heart and passion into our communities—volunteering countless hours to not only advance our profession, but also make a difference in these kids’ lives. They are truly inspiring.”
The G3 Grady High School Robotics Team in Atlanta, Georgia, is among the many elementary, middle and high schools, as well as college and community programs that receive Foundation funding. Since 2004, Atkins volunteers have mentored Grady’s team, introducing students to technology careers and providing a glimpse into the engineering profession.
Robotics activities at Grady embrace the mentor-mentee relationship on multiple levels. High school students—who learn to build, operate and use robots and drones in the community—share their learning experiences by mentoring elementary and middle school students, piquing their interest in STEM. Also, the entire program places emphasis on encouraging interest of girls and minorities in STEM careers.
“We use drones as a vehicle for teaching and applying STEM, and we want students to think about how the devices can be used as tools to benefit the community,” said Gardner Chambliss, senior communication engineer for Atkins; lead mentor for the team; and a founder of the G3 Grady High School Robotics program. “We try to introduce elementary and middle school students to the fun of solving engineering projects, so that by the time they are eligible for the robotics team in high school, they already have a strong STEM foundation.”
Grady’s team has demonstrated its know-how to the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Police Department, showing how drones can be used to perform tasks more efficiently, such as surveillance. To provide hands-on learning experiences for younger students, the team has developed middle school competitions that allow younger students to build drones to gain a better understanding of how they function and how they can be used.
Grady’s team recently held a knowledge exchange with Atkins and CCLD Technologies Inc., a Houston-based telecom engineering company that provides aerial and mobile surveying and mapping using tools such as drones, the highlights of which can be seen in the Atkins’ “Drones for Good” film.
The Atkins Foundation, a 501(c)(3), supports programs that improve the quality of life for those in local communities. In addition to STEM-related activities, the Foundation funds public programs for those impacted by disasters and provides assistance to public charities. The Atkins Minority Scholarship Program, which assists minority students majoring in engineering programs at universities across the U.S., is also funded through the Foundation.
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Notes to editors:
Atkins (www.atkinsglobal.com) is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing over 18,000 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website.
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Atkins' Drones for Good Film
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Gabriel Kupersmith, senior, G3 Grady High School Robotics Team
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Isabelle Carson, senior, G3 Grady High School Robotics Team
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Sajjad Ali, senior, G3 Grady High School Robotics Team
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