Time Warner Cable has announced a five-year, $100 million commitment in conjunction with a White House-sponsored campaign to improve math and science education in the United States.
Using its media assets, the cable giant will work to build awareness of the need for better science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education while inspiring students by connecting them with hands-on afterschool opportunities to experience STEM in non-traditional ways. "Lifting American students from the middle to the top of the pack in STEM achievement over the next decade will not be attained by government alone," said President Obama during a White House event earlier this week. "I applaud the substantial commitments made today by the leaders of companies, universities, foundations, nonprofits, and organizations representing millions of scientists, engineers, and teachers from across the country."
Time Warner Cable has pledged to connect a million children with the wonders of science and math. Anchoring the company's initiative is the Connect a Million Minds Web site, which uses a ZIP-code search to connect students to STEM learning opportunities in their communities. The site also will challenge parents, afterschool program administrators, and community members to help in the effort. On the site, participants will be able to watch video case studies of inventors and technologists talking about their projects and post photos and narratives about their STEM experiences, creating a community of people who share a common interest and passion for scientific pursuits.
According to Time Warner Cable chairman, president, and CEO Glenn Britt, while there is a general understanding that STEM education is important, there is a lack of awareness of what opportunities are available to children. "We have two goals," said Britt. "One, we want to help parents understand the critical importance of their children's math and science education to a successful future — their own and the country's. And two, we want children to see that math and science can be fun through engaging, hands-on experiences. We hope that will inspire students to pursue higher education and careers in STEM fields, filling a critical but dwindling pipeline in America's workforce."