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OMRON today announced it will donate $10,000 to the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation in support of its "Girl Powered" initiative, which provides teachers and mentors resources for co-ed or all-girl competitive robotics programs. The contribution from OMRON Foundation, Inc. was boosted by matching funds generated from social sharing by attendees and followers of the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
OMRON conducted fundraising effort during CES 2020 to raise awareness and support girls in STEM. "OMRON supports development of the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math," said Nigel Blakeway, managing executive officer of OMRON Corporation. "We believe in the mission of the REC Foundation, and CES presents an outstanding opportunity for us to engage others in the cause."
The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation engages students in hands-on, affordable and sustainable robotics engineering programs. The Foundation manages competitions for elementary school through college students, with more than 200,000 participating students from 57 countries.
OMRON committed dollars to the non-profit at the start of CES, and every Tweet, Retweet or Instagram post during CES that included #OMRONforSTEM and #OMRONCES20, triggered an additional one-dollar donation, up to the maximum of $10,000. The fund will be dedicated to the organization's "Girl Powered" grant program, which was designed to get more young women involved in STEM.
"Studies show that boys and girls perform similarly in STEM, but girls are less likely to consider careers in STEM," said Kate Cramer, an automation engineer from OMRON Automation Americas, who spoke with CES attendees about her personal experience as a woman in the field. "Together with the REC Foundation, we want to inspire girls to embrace STEM learning and a potential career by developing their passion for engineering and robotics early. Ultimately, they may become my colleagues."
"We began offering Girl Powered grants because we saw so many girls on the sidelines at robotics competitions," said Amelia Gulling, vice president of development and marketing for the REC Foundation. "With the funds from OMRON, we can get more of them actively participating by providing robotics kits and materials for competition teams to increase female representation."