Microsoft Harnesses Cloud for STEM Education Outreach
Microsoft Philanthropies reports progress in helping non-profit organizations teach children about robotics and fight child hunger in Argentina.Microsoft takes corporate social responsibility seriously, explained Susan Hauser, corporate vice president of business and corporate responsibility at the Redmond, Wash., tech giant. "Across the company, we are working to apply the power of technology to ensure corporate responsibility, safeguard human rights and protect our planet," she wrote in a blog post. "This commitment is central to why many of our employees come to work every day, and it impacts the type of products and services we develop." Wrapping up its fiscal 2016 CSR report, now structured as a "living reporting website," Microsoft claims it has made big strides. For example, Microsoft Philanthropies' pledge in January to donate $1 billion in cloud computing resources over three years to non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is already off to a strong start, said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (pictured). In a letter, the executive reported that FIRST Robotics, a U.S.-based non-profit organization, is already using Azure to get students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. "With a limited budget and a tiny engineering staff, FIRST Robotics uses Azure to harness the power of big data to strategically channel resources where they are needed most, freeing up precious staff time to help more students develop real-world technology skills and create the next generation of STEM leaders," stated Nadella.
In Argentina's mountainous northwestern region, Azure is helping CONIN, an agency focused on battling child malnutrition. An Azure-based app alerts the group when a government and non-profit census finds children in need. "Now it is able to reach more at-risk families with better solutions before they fall through the cracks," Nadella said.