Our Belgian team is responsible for preparing various initiatives, both internally and externally. Our work involves a cooperation with the STEM academy, coordinated by Technopolis®. The STEM academy network is aimed at children and young people from the age of five to eighteen and supports initiatives that provide education in areas such as woodwork technology, electronics and electricity, and robotics.
Melexis provides the STEM academy network, with financial support via a ‘technology bonus’. During working hours, the company also offers its employees the chance to act as a ‘technology mentor’ and share their knowledge at the various academies in Flanders.
Françoise Chombar is also the Chair of the STEM platform, an independent group of experts who advise the STEM steering group and the Flemish government on the STEM action plan.
There are already various partnerships between STEM academies and companies, but Melexis is the first company to also support the STEM academy financially. This is undoubtedly a positive development that is testimony to great societal commitment and a targeted long-term vision.
Stephane Berghmans, Managing Director of Technopolis®
On 23 February 2019, the STEM coordination team of Melexis Ieper organized a Bot workshop for 30 children between 6 and 12 years old. During the workshop, the children got the opportunity to create their own Melexis bot, a small robot designed with Melexis sensors. Much to the STEM coordination team's delight, the small future engineers were very motivated and enthusiastic while getting introduced into the wondrous world of electronics. The children are still playing with their Melexis bot at home and some of them are even dreaming of a future career at Melexis. Mission accomplished!
In October 2017, Melexis Tessenderlo and Melexis Ieper both organized a STEM workshop for the children of our colleagues. The workshops started with a demonstration of our different technologies and applications, to give the children a better view on what kind of company their parents are working for. After that, the children created their own light-tracking bristle bot and built a race track to let the bristle bots compete with each other. It was inspiring to see the enthusiasm and engagement of the children during the workshop. They were all very proud of what they created, some even took their bristle bot with them on the next school day to show off. This shows the influence that STEM activities can have on children and the importance to get children acquainted with technology as of a young age.
Melexis Belgium sponsors VUB racing, a project of the VUB (Flemish University of Brussels) during which engineering students develop and manufacture an electric race vehicle with the goal of participating in the formula student competition. The students came to our offices to get to know Melexis better and had a mentoring slot with our Product Line Manager Current Sensors to discover how they can use our products in their vehicle and to discuss best practices.
In 2015, Melexis in Ukraine decided to participate in a nationwide STEM programme together with global companies such as Ericsson, Intel, OSTCHEM, Syngenta. This initiative was triggered by the European Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) organization, which launched the programme “Deploy Your Talents - Stepping Up the STEM Agenda for Europe”. Within the scope of this programme, the education project “STEM: Jobs of the Future” was initiated in France, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Spain and Ukraine.
Our colleagues presented the world of microelectronics and working at Melexis to pupils in high schools during February and April 2015.
“It's important to show real possibilities in engineering for pupils who are going to choose their profession, to excite them and encourage them to think like an engineer. There are a number of good schools in Kiev with a lot of great pupils, who still don't know the way to choose in their life. If we engage them in engineering, we will make a step in building our sustainable future.”
Volodymyr Roschook, Senior Analog Design Engineer
In 2016, we decided to do more and became a member of STEM-education coalition. This allows us to take part in school selection, branding campaign and impact the development of STEM education programs in Ukraine. Following the wishes of children to show them a real company’s life, lectures in 2016 took place directly in Melexis Kiev office as of March until May.
In November 2016 opened the Melexis exhibition in the Experimentanium Museum of Popular Science and Technology in presence of Luc Jacobs, the Ambassador of Belgium to Ukraine. The objective is to show children that high-tech is accessible, fun and very interesting.
On 26 April 2018, the final STEM-session of a three year project, aimed to popularize the scientific and technical professions among tenth-grade pupils in Kiev and supported by Melexis, took place. The pupils shared their impressions about their visits to high-tech companies. They not only combined photos and collected their learnings in a video and posters, but even performed a dance in STEM-style, accompanied by an invented song that has become the anthem of the project. The cherry on the cake was a cartoon, designed by one of pupils, which represented his vision of engineering the future of Ukraine. The practical lessons in high-tech companies became an integral part of the learning process for these schoolchildren, and they were looking forward to them. During the three years of our participation in STEM about half of the Kiev site team took part in this project in one way or another. Therefore, it’s nice to hear the children’s feedback: “STEM - is cool!”
Melexis Sofia inspired students at the 4th edition of the youth forum ‘I, Engineer’ in Sofia. The event is organized for high school and university students and mixes exhibitions, workshops and inspiring speakers. It’s a forum that allows global companies to meet up with young talented people, connected through their shared passion for technology.
This year, as the main sponsor, Melexis played a key role in the event with various activities. Melexis welcomed all students with an inspiring presentation on STEM. Girls were convinced that engineering is not only for boys, but can be interesting for everyone. A demo-corner with the fascinating Time-of-Flight simulator and an infrared camera engaged visitors all day long. In the workshop-corner girls and boys were able to solve tasks by using Melexis chips.
The forum ‘I, Engineer’ was preceded by an exhibition of successful Bulgarian engineers and inventors, including four of our colleagues, who shared their message to the young talents as to why it is so great and important to be an engineer.
Melexis Sofia also sponsored, for the second year now, the team of the Technical University in Sofia who competed in the Shell Eco-marathon 2017. The goal of the Shell Eco-marathon is to reach the longest distance with an equivalent of 1l fuel or 1kWh energy on a specially built 1,577 km track. The Bulgarian team reached 189 km/m³ with their innovative car ‘Phoenix’ and ended on the 3rd place. Melexis Bulgaria supported the team in their challenge of building and improving the vehicle, and thus supporting the engineering passion of the students. In total 171 teams from 29 countries from Europe and worldwide gathered in London, between 25–28 May, after 12 months of designing, constructing and testing the energy efficient vehicles.
Melexis Sofia remains very active in their STEM support. As a continuation of the STEM-inspired initiative “Proud of my parents’ work”, an event called “Children’s bazaar of professions” took part in a children’s museum in Sofia on 24 and 25 November. On both days around 2,000 knowledge-hungry young children visited the stand of Melexis and got inspired to become future engineers through various games and activities.
Melexis Nashua participated with a display and presentation on the NH TechWomen/TechGirls STEM Career Day at Nashua South High School. This was the second event put on by this organization which Melexis supported with a presentation about IC Technology and career opportunities.
Every year for the past decade, Dartmouth College has organized and sponsored, together with IEEE/SAE and the New England SCCA chapter, a very high tech STEM event for college engineering students, which is supported by Melexis Novi. This event is held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, home to NASCAR racing, among other events. Each year these student teams work many months to design and build a hybrid electric or full electric vehicle to compete in judged events, timed racing events and an endurance racing event. Teams learn the very practical skills of project management, multi-disciplinary design team work along with real world implementation and troubleshooting skills.
On 7 February, Melexis Bevaix engineers have performed their first workshop for kids organized with the local partner FSRM, offering many different workshops for kids to discover the world of engineering.