Heredia, Costa Rica. March 16th, 2022 – Fujitsu
has helped create three new school labs at the CIT Educational Complex in Belén, Costa Rica. The goal is to encourage students aged 5-12 – particularly girls – to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). An inauguration ceremony at the school marked the opening, where the Foreign Trade Minister, Andres Valenciano; and representatives of the Ministry of Education of Costa Rica thanked Fujitsu and its partners Microsoft
for the initiative.
The project aims to expand students' interests in STEM topics and deliver greater insight into the power and opportunities for careers in these fields. The labs provide the necessary space, technologies, and teacher training to expand the school's STEM teaching capabilities. Three new teaching spaces are involved: a Science Lab, a Robotics Lab, and an Innovation
Lab. Fujitsu donated 215 computers and robotics teaching kits, other science equipment, and technical skills and engagement provided by local Fujitsu employees.
Participating in the event was the foreign trade minister, who commented, “In the foreign trade sector we recognize the valuable contribution Fujitsu, Amazon, and Microsoft are making today for our future generations. Thanks to the targeted initiatives in their corporate social responsibility program, they are sowing a valuable seed for the Costa Rica of the future that envisions a more competitive, innovative, inclusive, and sustainable society. With these inputs for driving STEM careers, they are providing huge learning and knowledge opportunities through a social approach towards a knowledge economy.”
Each of the school’s 250 students will use the labs at least twice a week, with access also available for a further 250 students attending schools in the surrounding area. A key objective for the initiative is to encourage schoolgirls into STEM subjects. “Women in Costa Rica have traditionally not had a strong participation in STEM careers,” explained Alex Sanchez, Head of Cross GDC Networks at Fujitsu and part of Fujitsu’s Distinguished Engineers program. “We want to create exposure to those subjects at an early stage in girls' education before biases from this gender gap become entrenched.”
Fujitsu is a significant employer in the Belén metropolitan area, with 425 employees at its Global Delivery Center, one of its eight centers of service delivery excellence located around the world. Fujitsu already has a strong relationship with the CIT Educational Complex and has enabled it to provide remote learning for students since the Covid pandemic began. “CIT is a specialist technical school within the Belén community”, said Jeannette Cortes, Director of the CIT Educational Complex. “Partnering with Fujitsu is a natural fit for us in terms of helping to educate potential employees of the future. It opens the students' minds to the great career opportunities available in science and technology and enables us to give them the excellent STEAM skills they need to pursue that path.”
The initiative is part of Fujitsu's Global Delivery Responsible Business Program (GRiP). This centers around supporting the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as eradicating poverty, providing quality education, and ensuring healthcare and wellbeing
for all. For Fujitsu employees, the scheme involves engaging their skills and knowledge – both technical and soft – with the local communities in which they live and work.
These labs are an example of CINDE
’s successful synergies with academic centers and the tangible impacts generated when multinationals join forces for Costa Rican education and talent training.
Our congratulations and thanks go to Fujitsu, Amazon, and Microsoft for fostering student interest in STEAM topics and providing the understanding needed by students, and to the entire human team of CIT, a pioneer and promoter of innovative work models for the country’s development.
"During recent years we at CINDE have been encouraging, together with technical high schools, the development of new specialties to give youths better tools for joining the working world and moving toward careers of the future. In the last five years alone, 31,800 students have graduated in technical fields developed in collaboration with CINDE, and we expect this number to keep growing as a result of partnerships such as these", said Vanessa Gibson, Director Investment Climate, CINDE.
Fujitsu’s Sekinin Fund supports the Costa Rican scheme. That accepts proposals from Fujitsu employees twice a year for projects that engage with the UN SDGs, based on both engagement and the potential benefit to the relevant community. From the fund, Fujitsu provided an initial US $16,000 contribution (now raised to $60,000) in the form of 215 computers for the programming and technology lab, robotic kits, science equipment, furniture, and program support, as well as lab setup.
“We are proud to be able to participate in this partnership that seeks to empower and train children and young students so that they can prosper in an increasingly digitalized and globalized economy. Part of our longstanding commitment to Costa Rican education is to give more Costa Ricans access to the tools and skills needed to develop all their potential and access the best opportunities. We’re putting our hopes in Costa Rican children with this potent partnership, which will help create the talent Costa Rica needs for the fourth industrial revolution,” concluded Microsoft Costa Rica Country Manager, Ineke Geesink.
The estimated joint contribution from Fujitsu, Microsoft, and AWS is $88,000. Microsoft has provided 215 licenses for Minecraft for Education and shirts and tablets for kids during the inauguration event. AWS is covering some construction and decoration costs for the labs and onboarding the school as an AWS Educate institution to provide certifications and learning paths for students. All three partners will also donate paid employee time to lead “Tech Talks” in different subjects such as Cybersecurity
, Networks, Cloud
, Big Data
, Science, Math, and Statistics.About Fujitsu
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 126,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.6 trillion yen (US$34 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. For more information, please see https://www.fujitsu.com/