PORTERVILLE, Calif. -- Today, Porterville Unified School District’s (PUSD) Future Ready Lab Inspired by Qualcomm® Thinkabit Lab™, opens at the historic Citrus South Tule Elementary site. Designed as a 21st century classroom, the Future Ready Lab is a space for students from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds to receive science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) experiences that will prepare and empower them to be successful in high school, college and careers.
The Thinkabit Lab, which opened at Qualcomm’s San Diego headquarters in 2014, is the combination of an engineering lab, makerspace and classroom offering teachers and students an engaging learning environment to foster creativity, collaboration and the development of critical skills necessary for the 21st century. The unique, hands-on Thinkabit Lab experience exposes students to STEAM concepts and careers that are essential to tomorrow’s workforce not only at Qualcomm but in every aspect of building the wireless, Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G ecosystems. The Future Ready Lab in Porterville is part of Qualcomm’s efforts to bring its STEAM-based Thinkabit Lab experience to diverse communities and regions nationwide. STEAM Program Manager for Porterville Unified School District, Jose Vasquez, will use the Thinkabit Lab’s Signature Activities, including Qualcomm® World of Work (QWOW™) career exploration and unique engineering projects.
“At Qualcomm, we are committed to contributing to a successful, robust, diverse and expanding pool of talent in STEAM fields and to showing students of all ages and backgrounds that they can invent the future and that STEAM careers may be for them,” said Susie Armstrong, Senior Vice President of Qualcomm Engineering. “I am so excited about our collaboration with PUSD, which brings the unique perspective and skills of their community to the Thinkabit Lab program. And, I am impressed with the level of community support they’ve received for opening and sustaining the Future Ready Lab.”
The Future Ready Lab will begin by offering 2 full-days of classes each week that are based on the Thinkabit Lab experience. Classes will be taught by instructors with STEAM and education backgrounds, who will help students create, code, collaborate and present robotic creations better known as “Robo Crafts”. The lab will open on Thursday, September 7, with a 9:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony at Citrus South Tule Elementary School (31374 Success Valley Drive in Porterville).
PUSD assumed control of the Citrus South Tule Elementary site in July 2015. With the original one-room classroom structure built in 1874 still on site, PUSD will work to maintain the integrity of the schoolhouse while utilizing it as an educational setting to teach students about the history of Porterville.
“As a district, we are proud that we will be able to utilize the Citrus South Tule site for this exceptional learning opportunity,” said PUSD Superintendent Dr. Ken Gibbs. “PUSD is deeply appreciative of this working relationship with Qualcomm to provide not only our students, but all students in the region with a chance to work in an innovative environment.”
“Our goal as a governing board has always been to provide equity of opportunity for all students," PUSD Governing Board President Lillian Durbin said. "This project has been a few years in the making. We know what the Citrus South Tule site means to the Porterville community and are thrilled that we have found a way to continue quality education there."
Porterville Unified School District serves more than 14,000 students in a geographical area of 3,000 square miles. The mission of PUSD is to provide students a dynamic, engaging and effective educational experience that prepares them with the skills to be productive citizens in a global society.
Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries. Thinkabit Lab and QWOW are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.