Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Life At Cisco

Play. Blow Your Mind. Repeat. #ThisIsSTEAM

Steam Carnival

High-tech games. Creation zones – where you can create to your heart’s content – aerialists, food (of course) and . . . a dunk booth with fire?! These are all things you’ll find at STEAM Carnival, November 6-8 in San Francisco at AT&T Park. You’ll also find Cisco there, as a key sponsor (along with Cartoon Network!) of all the fun.

Like any carnival, there’s fun for the whole family, but there’s a specific focus on getting kids excited about making, learning, arts, technology, science, invention and innovation. In other words, just having a grand time!

There are going to be so many cool Cisco happenings at the STEAM Carnival. Discover, Explore, Play and Create are the three areas you’ll find Cisco participating – with over 50 employee volunteers. There will also be 8 Cisco Net Academy students to help with the Cisco network at the event, but also to talk to their peers and younger students about where technology can take them.

STEAM Carnival

In the Discover area, we’ll have TP tents to demonstrate the technology behind Cisco’s telepresence. (Maybe you’ll get to connect to other makers locally, or around the globe!) When you visit the Explore area, you’ll find “secret society” workbooks where there are puzzles to unlock, and ways to think about what the future could hold. In the Create area, you’ll find Cisco’s own Shubha Govil, senior manager of products for Webex and her son Omkar showing kids how they can become creators (more on them later this week on the blog. Stay tuned!)

What gets our employees excited about the event?

“It’s about unstructured learning and exploring things on their own,” Shubha says. “The insight gained by trying, failing, and re-trying to make things work brings a great level of confidence in kids to keep them innovating and creating.”

“We are thrilled to partner with 2BC and the Cartoon Network to ignite the interest and curiosity of young minds through play,” says Karen Morris, Head of Talent Acquisition Strategy and Innovation (with a focus on STEAM). “Our industry and partners are in need of talent that are problems solvers, creative, collaborative, and that have critical and design thinking skills.  STEAM Carnival is a place where children will exercise all these skills in a playful environment.   We can’t wait to meet and engage with our next generation of talent at STEAM Carnival, and to see them experience critical aha-ha moments.”

“STEAM fuels the innovations that we need to progress as a society, preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs, doctors, rocket scientists, developers and more,” Says Lauren Cooney, senior director, strategic programs for Cisco’s Chief Technology & Architecture Office.  “STEAM Carnival is a great way to jump-start the next generation’s interest in this movement.”

If you’re in San Francisco, meet us at AT&T Park for three days of family fun, employee fun and learning fun. If you’re not in San Francisco or can’t join us there for the fun, here’s a fun STEAM activity either you can try, or try with your family. It’s Art Bot! Learn how to create him.

Tags: , ,

Building a Stronger World Through the Power of Giving

Here in Silicon Valley and many towns across the globe, it’s that time of year. The time of year when we’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends. It’s also the time of year when we turn our attention to giving back to those who are less fortunate.

This season, I want to direct the focus to just a few of the Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners and non-profits who work tirelessly to give back all year long. These connections are what make the CSR work we do possible. Our partners give us the ability to scale our efforts and create exponential social, environmental, and business impact.

One of our CSR focus areas is education. As the world becomes more connected, new career growth and opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are more plentiful than ever. Yet the majority of U.S. students lack foundational skills in STEM. MIND Research Institute set out to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. By developing the game-based Spatial Temporal (ST) Math instructional software program, MIND Research Institute is revolutionizing math education through visual learning. Amazingly, schools that fully implement ST Math see double, and even triple, the growth in math proficiency than comparable schools. Cisco has partnered with MIND Research Institute for over a decade now, helping the organization scale delivery and access to ST Math by transitioning the software to a web-based platform. I’m extremely proud that this work and investment has increased access from 55,000 students in 2007 to more than 800,000 students and 31,000 teachers in 40 states, and is helping develop the workforce of the future. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

The Global STEM Alliance: Collaborative Education and Mentoring to Solve the “STEM Paradox”

GlobalStemAlliance_Oct2014The New York Academy of Sciences has recently released a report that redefines the global STEM crisis as a “STEM paradox”: there are sufficient numbers of STEM graduates, but low numbers of grads who are actually prepared for work, “brain drain” from developing countries and the lack of women in STEM fields makes it impossible for employers to fill all their STEM job openings. The new report also outlines how partnerships between governments, corporations and institutions can solve problems in the STEM workforce pipeline.

Additional information on the Global STEM Alliance is available here:

To see Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief Globalization Officer, discuss the initiative, visit:

As a founding partner since 2013, Cisco is excited to support the Global STEM Alliance, an international collaboration of public and private entities that harnesses the collective mindshare of corporations, local and national governments, nonprofits, students and STEM leaders. This multimillion-dollar Alliance will bring together STEM professionals of different ages and cultures to develop often-missing foundational skills and adapt to specific environments. The Alliance will engage and prepare the next generation for careers that encourage global economic development and the innovation needed to address and overcome today’s biggest challenges. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Five Ways We Can Prepare the Next Generation of Workers for Tomorrow’s Technology

Consider this: Many of today’s top jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago – jobs like app developers, social media managers, and cloud computing administrators. By 2018, it’s predicted that there will be 21 billion networked devices and connections globally. The Internet of Everything (IoE) will bring it all together, but it’s people that will make the connections possible.

The good news… the digital age is creating millions of information technology (IT) job opportunities for people. The bad news… we aren’t developing IT talent fast enough to keep up with the pace of demand.

A ManpowerGroup study shows that in the Americas, 39 percent of employers report hiring challenges caused by IT talent shortages. Acute shortages were reported by employers in Brazil, India, Turkey, Hong Kong, and Japan, where that number skyrockets to 85 percent.

These numbers show that career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are more plentiful than ever. Unfortunately in the U.S., many students lack foundational STEM skills, as shown by a recent Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education report. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Using Advanced Technology to Build a 21st Century University Experience

Tom Hull at TechConnect

Florida Polytechnic University Vice President and CIO Tom Hull joined Cisco Vice President Pat Finn via TelePresence at the CSN Tech Connection at the College of Southern Nevada on January 15th.

As Florida Polytechnic University’s Chief Information Officer, my job is to ensure the University uses modern and emerging technologies to offer our students experiential learning opportunities. The higher education industry is undergoing a paradigm shift in which technology for teaching and learning is a part of the educational ecosystem and something that students expect. At Florida Poly, we need to use these technologies to give students the best learning experience possible.

Our Vision for the Future

Florida Poly’s vision is to be a bright star in the high-tech corridor we’re building in Central Florida, creating a Silicon Valley-like environment. We’re going to accomplish this vision by building an extremely modern campus (probably the most modern in the United States) with technologically advanced features available to students and faculty. In addition to the features our campus itself will offer, we have applied research, a bright faculty leading advanced programs and higher education partnerships with industry organizations to help us accomplish our mission and vision.

Our university’s architecture will be student-centric, and our technological foundation will be a Florida Poly cloud that includes all emerging technology in the world of higher education. This cloud will be accessible to both students and faculty and will feature a student information system that will provide an easy way for students, faculty and staff to obtain resources. This cloud will also include a virtual library environment that has access to digital databases and research repositories, essentially replacing the traditional library system. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,