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A Seismic STEM Challenge

Over 2000 innovators came together in San Jose recently to examine ways to ensure that buildings can survive powerful earthquakes.

This was no ordinary trade show. It wasn’t an industry conference filled with engineers and seismologists, policymakers and building managers. Instead, the more than 2000 participants were students, grades 4 through 12, from across Silicon Valley who came together for The Tech Challenge, a signature event of The Tech Museum of Innovation. Cisco has been the event’s presenting sponsor for five years.

The challenge was deceptively simple: design, engineer, and build a multi-story building able to withstand powerful seismic forces. Hundreds of teams spent the last 6 months researching seismic engineering, testing materials, and coming up with strong and flexible designs.

Then, these projects were put to the ultimate test: withstanding the earthquake simulator to see if the building survived intact.

The Tech Challenge is one of the most diverse science competitions in the United States

The Tech Challenge is one of the most diverse science competitions in the United States

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Why Latin America Should Embrace the Internet of Things

This post was written byScreen Shot 2015-05-19 at 8.52.45 AM Jordi Botifoll, President, Cisco Latin America, and originally published by the World Economic Forum

Latin America faces major challenges in terms of development and competitiveness, but at the same time has a great opportunity to rethink its future and take huge steps forward. The next phase of the Internet, the Internet of Everything (IoE) – a comprehensive ‘nervous system’ of networks that connect people, processes, data and things – offers incommensurate possibilities to transform the region, with important implications for its development, employment and competitiveness.

The Internet of Everything makes networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.

Cisco Networking Academy students in Brazil build IT skills and  the foundation for a lifelong career. More than 900,000 students have taken Networking Academy courses in 33 Latin American countries since 1997.

Cisco Networking Academy students in Brazil build IT skills and the foundation for a lifelong career. More than 900,000 students have taken Networking Academy courses in 33 Latin American countries since 1997.

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Cisco Prepares Young People for Cyber Security Careers

The Internet is evolving, and its next phase – the Internet of Everything – brings together people, process, data and things to create opportunities that benefit people, communities, and the environment. Cisco estimates that 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020, making cybersecurity more vital than ever before. Cisco is engaged in several efforts to prepare young people for careers in the field.

First, Cisco has partnered with CyberPatriot, the national youth cyber education program. Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot National Commissioner, emphasizes the need for cybersecurity training as breaches and threats become more common on the Internet.

“There are 15,000 attacks per second in the United States by people who would do ill to our systems,” Skoch said. “We have a dire need for cybersecurity professionals in the United States, but we frankly aren’t drawing enough young men and young women to be the designers, to be the planners, to be the operators of these very technical systems.”

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Networking Academy Students Get Hands-On at Cisco Live

About ten years ago, Courtney Church was studying to be a personal trainer. Then she realized that “people didn’t want to work out, but they needed their computers fixed.” So she did a 180 on her career, spent 8 years with the Best Buy Geek Squad, then enrolled in a Cisco Networking Academy course at East Carolina State University in Greenville, North Carolina.

“I fell in love with it the first day,” Courtney says of Networking Academy. “I’ve always had a passion for figuring out how computers and technology work.”

This week, Courtney joined 25 other Networking Academy students from the United States and Canada at Cisco Live – our annual customer and partner education event – to help a team of Cisco engineers maintain the massive computer network that supports more than 20,000 conference attendees.

Cisco Networking Academy student Courtney Church uses a rare break at Cisco Live to catch up on homework.

Cisco Networking Academy student Courtney Church uses a rare break at Cisco Live to catch up on homework.

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Networking Academy Competitions Help Students Stand Out

For students enrolled in Cisco Networking Academy courses, Networking Academy NetRiders Competitions are an amazing way to gain valuable hands-on experience, test their skills under pressure, and expand their network of professional connections. Most of all, winning NetRiders helps students stand out in the job market, as Jesús Israel Nava of Mexico and Csilla Bessenyei of Hungary found out.

Bob_SchoenherrBob Schoenherr is a designer, content developer, and technical lead for the competitions. “Apart from the hands-on practical experience, the competitive environment allows participants to go head to head against students from all over the world,” he says. “NetRiders and other skills competitions give students exposure for internships and career opportunities and offer contestants development growth potential in networking and IT skills that prove beneficial.”

Bob offers a bit of advice for students planning to participate. He recommends that students learn the materials, as opposed to memorizing the material: “The best way to learn concepts is to create scenarios to be solved and then solve them.”

Watch Bob’s video below for more insights on the benefits of participating in NetRiders.

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