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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.

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Preparing Texas Students Today for the STEM Jobs of Tomorrow

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.

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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 »

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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 »

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Two CSR Nonprofit Partners Win Tech Innovation Awards

Two of Cisco’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) nonprofit grantees, Gooru and Worldreader, have won 2014 Tech Awards from the Tech Museum of Innovation for their work in applying technology to some of the world’s most urgent educational challenges.

Gooru is a free, open-source education search engine. Educators worldwide can use it to personalize and share instructional K-12 content customized to individual students’ needs. The website contains over 16 million videos, slides, digital textbooks, and interactive content that provide engaging ways to teach K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Cisco support is helping Gooru integrate Lessonopoly – a repository of more than 11,000 teacher lessons and study packs – into its platform.

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