Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Corporate Social Responsibility

Challenging the Next Generation of STEM Professionals

Yesterday, Cisco and Junior Achievement of Northern California hosted Cisco’s inaugural Social Innovation Challenge on our San Jose campus. Fifty high school students from nearby Independence High School and Sequoia High School worked together in small groups to create and pitch ways to connect the unconnected.

I watched as excited students presented ideas to improve the patient/physician relationship and make the experience at the San Francisco 49er’s new stadium easier for fans. Their collaboration led them to brainstorm creative solutions that use technology in new and unanticipated ways. The winning team, “Epidemask,” pitched the concept of a blue-chip enabled gel facemask that prevents the spread of viruses while also communicating to authorities which regions need specific vaccinations.

The winning team, "Epidemask", applied technology to create social change in the healthcare field

The winning team, “Epidemask,” applied technology to create social change in the healthcare field

It’s always fun to see students pour their energy into something like this. At the Social Innovation Challenge, we get the chance to watch kids organize new ideas and stand up in front of a panel of judges in a competitive environment. This format is great because it teaches them what the social problems are and how they can use technology and connections to solve them.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Cisco Empowered Women’s Network Sponsors San Jose State University STEM Challenge

Last month Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CiscoEWN) sponsored a San Jose State University STEM Challenge together with CloudNOW.  The goal was to promote technology career paths for college women and to recognize students’ innovative efforts at San Jose State University.

Through my involvement with CloudNOW, a non-profit organization whose mission is to drive the professional development of women from school age through their working career I got to meet Debra Caires,  the Director of Internships Programs at San Jose Statue University.  Debra has a relentless energy and passion in fostering STEM careers for college students and for promoting gender diversity.  Debra organized this STEM Challenge event where we also announced CloudNOW;s Top College Women in Cloud awards.  We are accepting submissions for these currently and all college women and men too are encouraged to apply.

stem blog post photo 2

The CiscoEWN generously supported this event in a number of ways.  The guest, speaker at this event was Tami Newcombe, Vice President of Sales at Cisco Systems. The CiscoEWN offered students ways to connect with them to reap the benefits of the many seminars and events that they run.

Cisco’s Tami Newcombe opened the event with reflections on her own career trajectory spanning a mix of engineering and sales executive leadership. Tami encouraged students “ to go break glass” and be bold in their career paths but also gave practical advice on being attuned to the dynamics of the organization that they work at.  Tami talked about the value of internships and described it as the “new interview” in the job search process for students and employers alike.

I shared further details on their Top College in Women in Cloud award and was pleased to see great interest. We are looking forward to strong representation in from San Jose State University.

The event concluded with the judging of 40 student STEM posters by judges from Cisco Systems, CloudNOW and Adobe Systems. Students created these posters based on their contributions to industry during their internships. The technology areas spanned Big Data, cybersecurity, Internet of Things to emerging digital technologies.

We awarded first and second place prizes to Jordan Jennings and Sindusha Doddapeni respectively.

 

stem blog post photo 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos by San Jose State University Student Eileen Wai

 

Tags: , ,

Finding Students’ ‘Voice’ on STEM as part of Cisco’s Day of Action

Later this week, four dozen high-school students will gather in an auditorium in North San Jose.  They will stand before a panel of judges, not to sing the latest pop song for The Voice or American Idol, but to blow judges away with their proposals for the next big thing in technology, as part of Cisco’s STEM Mentoring Day of Action.

After spending time with engineer mentors and seeing cutting-edge technologies, the students will be divided into small teams.  Their task:  develop an innovative proposal for the Internet of Everything, the next wave of the Internet, which is the connection of people, processes, data and things to the Internet.

This event is not a one-time occasion.  It’s part of Cisco’s enduring commitment to preparing the next generation for careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math — STEM.  This week, nearly 200 students will attend STEM mentoring events at three Cisco campuses in San Jose; Richardson, Texas; and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

The goal at all three facilities is the same – to ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, and math among students. You see, something amazing happens when you put technology in the hands of young people. It opens their eyes to the incredible possibilities that a career in high-tech can offer.

Cisco’s commitment in this area goes back nearly two decades with the Cisco Networking Academy, which has taught over 5 million students around the world the fundamentals of how networks work and providing them the opportunity to become certified, the key to obtaining a good paying job in this field.

This commitment extends to classrooms, where we’re working with schools and the Federal Government to see that every K-12 classroom in America has high-speed Wi-Fi over the next five years.  Cisco is also providing funding for innovative programs – like the MIND Research Institute – which is fundamentally changing how math is being taught in underserved communities from coast to coast.  And their results have been nothing short of amazing –with students doubling and tripping their math proficiency scores in a few short years.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Preparing Texas Students Today for the STEM Jobs of Tomorrow

October 7, 2014 at 12:57 pm PST
stslatteThis post written by guest blogger Steve Slattery, Vice President of Unified Communications and Customer Engagement, Cisco

 

Nearly 60 10th graders from the Plano Independent School District STEM Academy came to Cisco’s Richardson, Texas, campus today to gain hands-on experience with the technology of tomorrow.

These students, who focus on science, technology, engineering and math – known as STEM — got career counseling from technology professionals, saw demonstrations of Cisco’s cutting-edge video and collaboration technologies, and engaged in speed mentoring.  To cap of an incredible day, the students had an opportunity to build their own ethernet cables and test them on phones by making live calls.

This is part of a series of STEM mentoring events taking place all week at three of Cisco’s campuses – Richardson, Texas; Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and Silicon Valley. Nearly 200 students and 200 Cisco employee mentors will participate in these events.

A Cisco employee mentor shares a demo with a student at a STEM mentoring event October 7 in Richardson, Texas.

Nearly 60 students and 33 Cisco mentors participated in a STEM event in Richardson, Texas, on October 7. The event is part of our commitment to the US2020 Initiative to have 20% of our workforce engaged in 20 hours of STEM mentoring per year by 2020.

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: http://globalstemalliance.org/

To see Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief Globalization Officer, discuss the initiative, visit: http://www.nyas.org/WhatWeDo/ScienceEd/GlobalSTEM.aspx

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: , , , , , , ,