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Cisco-Supported Program Receives Public Service Award

This post was written by guest blogger Alex Belous, Education Portfolio Manager for Cisco Systems and the Cisco Foundation. Alex Belous

Each year, more than 1.4 million people visit the Museum of Science, Boston, where they marvel at exhibits covering everything from aviation to evolution. In 2004, the museum launched the National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®), a program designed to teach visitors about science and engineering.

Shortly after, the NCTL recognized the need to improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and launched Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) in 2005, a project that sparks students’ interest in STEM and helps children in grades 1 through 8 develop engineering and technological literacy.

The NCTL recently received the National Science Board’s (NSB) 2015 Public Service Award, which acknowledged the center’s pioneering work in engineering education curricula for K-12 schools nationwide.

At EiE, students take part in fun, engaging STEM activities (Photo courtesy Boston Museum of Science)

At EiE, students take part in fun, engaging STEM activities (Photo courtesy Boston Museum of Science)

“The center’s innovative exhibits, programs and curricular projects have brought engineering, technology and science to millions of students across the country and provided teachers with the professional training they need for the 21st Century classroom,” said Vint Cerf, chair of NSB’s Committee on Honorary Awards.

Since 2005, Cisco has supported the NCTL’s Engineering is Elementary program with $2.1 million in cash and product grants. Through the support of Cisco and other sponsors, the program has grown to be the nation’s most widely used elementary engineering curriculum, reaching 77,000 educators and 7.7 million children nationwide since its release in 2005.

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Proud to be a National Leader in Veterans Employment

On April 23, Cisco was honored to be part of the 4th anniversary and expansion of the Joining Forces Initiative, a White House project sponsored by first lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to support service members, veterans, and their families through wellness, education, and employment opportunities.

Cisco first partnered with the Joining Forces Initiative in 2013 on the IT Training and Certification pilot program, which resulted in over 380 transitioning service members getting high demand IT training.  Eighty eight percent of those who got a new job indicated the program contributed to them getting a new job. The program is being expanded through state partnerships, starting with North Carolina.

During last week’s event, held at Micron technology in Manassas, Virginia, the First Lady called out Cisco for our commitment to hire and train veterans and military spouses. Thanks to Mike Younkers, Senior Director of Systems Engineering and Gena Pirtle, Corporate Affairs Program Manager, who represented Cisco.

Cisco appreciates the support of the Joining Forces initiative and their partnership on our Veterans Program, which helps service members, spouses, and veterans get training leading to career employment.

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Internet2: The Next Big Thing Awaits

In order to push the boundaries of research we must turn to innovative technology. And since much of research is being fueled by academic organizations, Cisco is making an investment in our partners and in higher education.

This month in Washington, D.C. the brightest minds in technology will gather for the second annual Internet2 Global Summit, a meeting that brings the scientific and academic communities together to explore the synergy between research and scholarship. The 2015 meeting will focus on collaborative innovations in information technology (IT), infrastructure and next generation applications.

So, what is Cisco’s role in Internet2?

Cisco and Internet2 are advancing the fields of research and education through cutting-edge technology. Together we realized the challenges facing higher education decision makers and conducted a survey with 1105 Media to identify the main challenges facing researchers, professors, staff and students around collaboration technologies. The survey revealed that a mixture of collaboration tools is important for research projects to be successful. We discovered that 88% of faculty and 86% of administrators see value in web conferencing and webinars while students favor mobile video collaboration (70%) and web conferencing (63%). The survey results are also represented in an infographic, which exposes the value of cloud technologies on campus.

Additionally, Cisco’s UCS Research Appliance is being leveraged by the Internet2 community to address the need to share large files between institutions faster and in a more collaborative manner.

Cisco will join the Internet2 community from April 26—30 at the Renaissance Hotel Downtown in Washington D.C. During this event, we will explore a number of conversations including “what’s next” for research institutions, and how global Internet governance can work with digital technology to meet growing demands in education.

We invite you to join Cisco and our partners in higher education at the following happenings:

  • Cisco Booth/Exhibit Area demonstrating Cisco Collaboration for Education (DX80, Spark, CMR), Science DMZ and the announcement/introduction of a new Cisco line rate research appliance that was developed in collaboration with I2, SanDisk and CompuCom (Booth #36)
  • Opening Keynote presented by Rich Seidner (Monday at 1:30 PM)
  • Community Showcase: Building a Private Cloud Based on Openstack – Presented by Dmitry Dukhan (Tuesday at 1:30 PM)
  • Research Enablement Panel – Rich Seidner to participate with Michael Harttree there to help (Tuesday at 4:30 PM)

Cisco is proud to be an active partner with Internet2 in the university research community and we look forward to continuing to provide valuable solutions that benefit research and education around the world.

To learn more about Internet2, you can visit the consortium’s website here: http://www.internet2.edu/. Also, don’t forget to follow the hashtag, #i2summit15 from on April 26—30 as key insights from featured keynotes, breakout sessions and showcases are shared live!

We will be back to report on the Internet2 Global Summit next week, so keep your eyes on this space!

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How and Where Will You Work in the Future?

My previous blog post considered enterprise agility and our individual responsibility to take some level of ownership by being more present and connected. This week at UC Expo in London I met many industry colleagues, and it sparked off some interesting conversations.

Two themes emerged that made me think about what work might look like in ten years time:

1) Balancing artisan creativity with the art of making money

We agreed that the mass-market appeal and adoption of some technologies and devices have lead to quite bland output by some teams. We have, to some degree, lost the ability to be creative at scale. The pressure of time and money and the corporate iteration process often distil the essence of something beautiful down into something quite vanilla – generic tools often force us down the road to blandness.

Thankfully, some emerging approaches and technology are starting to Read More »

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Should women consider a career in cybersecurity? Absolutely!

With the United Nations’ International Girls in ICT day fast approaching on April 23rd, this is a great opportunity to discuss how we can get young women involved in careers in technology. Cybersecurity is an ever-present issue with companies and individuals suffering attacks daily. At Cisco, we believe that protection from threats does not rely on a single technology or solution, it incorporates both the processes and of course, the people. It is predicted that by 2017, an additional two million security professionals will be needed, but what many young people – particularly women – underestimate, is how rewarding and far-reaching a career in cybersecurity can be.

Taking, the UK as one example, cybersecurity employs 40,000 people and is worth £6 billion to the economy. Yet according to the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report, more than one million positions for information security professionals remain unfilled around the world. What’s more, is that female cybersecurity staff only account for 11 percent of the global workforce. In Europe, the figures are even worse, coming in at only 7 percent .

Today there still remains a notion that IT is a “man’s job”. Women thinking of applying are often dissuaded as they may lack the confidence needed at the very start to pursue this career path. Yet, not only is this job market growing, but these jobs pay higher than other industries. We must do what we can to encourage young women to be fearless and pursue these fields of study, because they add new perspectives in the workplace that benefit business outcomes.

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