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Cisco Employees To Be Among 1 Million STEM Mentors By 2020

Today, Cisco’s Patrick Finn, Senior Vice President, Public Sector, joined U.S. President Barack Obama and 9 other leading U.S. technology companies and education nonprofits to launch US2020 at the White House Science Fair.

US2020 is an all-hands-on-deck initiative that aims to connect more science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) professionals to students from kindergarten through college.

As part of the US2020 initiative, Cisco will utilize the expertise of its workforce and culture of giving back, with the goal of having 20 percent or more of employees volunteering at least 20 hours a year as STEM mentors by the year 2020.

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Sky Is the Limit for Imagination at This Year’s Tech Challenge: Asteroids Rock!

As we settle into spring, I’m anticipating an exciting annual event — The Tech Challenge at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California.  This is an amazing program that brings together thousands of students and gives them a chance to flex their engineering muscles.

In its 26th year, The Tech Challenge continues the mission to promote science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education with the “Asteroids Rock!” project. In this year’s scenario, an unmanned spacecraft launched from Earth and landed on an asteroid. From there, it must transport 3 packages of delicate testing instruments to specified locations. The students must tackle this challenge with creativity and ingenuity.

asteroid

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Visual Approach Helps Students Learn Math

April 15, 2013 at 10:21 am PST

The importance of improving math education is increasingly urgent. America ranks 25 out of 34 industrialized nations on math tests. Tomorrow’s jobs -- more than 8 million by 2018 -- will require skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Cisco supports an organization, MIND Research Institute, that is using an innovative approach to improving math skills. MIND’s program presents math problems visually, which can show students why their answers are right, as well as why their answers are sometimes wrong. As students move through the math games at their own pace, they receive immediate, informative feedback on each interaction.

Today, about half a million children in 30 states are learning math with the Spatial Temporal Math program, or ST Math. MIND reports that on average, schools implementing ST Math improve their math proficiency as measured by their respective state-mandated tests, at two or three times the rate of their peers.

A student uses the ST Math program. Photo: MIND Research Institute

A student uses the ST Math program. Photo: MIND Research Institute

Cisco support has enabled MIND to, among other things, pilot ST Math with more than 4000 students at 14 schools in Arizona and convert ST Math to an online platform, which expanded the program’s reach from 55,000 students to nearly 500,000, an 800 percent increase, in 5 years.

Read more about the ST Math Program in a Huffington Post blog by MIND Co-Founder & Chief Technical Officer Matthew Peterson.

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CyberPatriot Program Showcases Future of Cybersecurity Workforce

DSC_0942_2March 14 – 15 marked the National Finals Competition of CyberPatriot, the largest high school cyber defense competition in the United States.

With students crowded around laptops, routers and clocks counting down, teams were given a business scenario. Told that they were newly hired IT professionals managing the network of a small company, they were given 12 virtual machines that they had to wipe of the most vulnerabilities in the shortest amount of time.

Taking place just outside of Washington, D.C., as the teams raced to defend their networks from attack, the event resembled a scene out of the show 24. And if it showed us anything, it’s that our future cybersecurity workforce is bright. Read More »

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Britons get behind London 2012 legacy pledge

As a nation, we enjoyed a successful and memorable London 2012 Olympic Games and are now enjoying the start of the Paralympic Games. As London 2012 draws to a close, many will be asking what will be left for future generations to enjoy. Following the years of hard work and investment by Great Britain to put on the show that we have, it is now time to think about the future and the benefits of the Olympic Legacy.

To gain better insight into exactly what the British public expect in terms of legacy, we conducted a survey to ask what is important to them personally. The results revealed that over half of Britons surveyed (62%) believe that the Games will benefit UK business in the long term and create a lasting legacy for the country. An impressive 60% of those surveyed also confirmed that they believe the Games may help to improve technology and innovation in the UK, inspiring entrepreneurship within the sector and helping to build a brilliant future for Britain and industry moving forward.

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