CHICAGO, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH), a leading provider of business, technology and consulting services, will today announce its commitment to Maker Corps at the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) meeting. Maker Corps, a new program developed by the Maker Education Initiative, will hire college students to serve as mentors and educators to children in summer and after school programs inspired by the Maker Movement, a broad-based community that celebrates the art of designing and building things, either doing-it-yourself (DIY) or with others (DIWO).
Makers are driven by the challenge of the projects they tackle, while also engaging in design- and project-based learning that can nurture creativity and develop proficiency in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines. As makers themselves, Maker Corps members bring their own enthusiasm and knowledge about how to learn by doing. They will be trained to engage children in creative projects that develop problem-solving skills in ways that make science and technology fun. Like camp counselors, they will gain the experience of serving as community leaders.
The Maker Education Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to the idea that every child is a maker, was launched in May 2012 at Maker Faire Bay Area with the support of Cognizant, one of its founding partners. The group will oversee the Maker Corps program and be responsible for the overall recruitment and execution of the program.
"Cognizant is delighted to support Maker Corps, a program that shares our commitment to bringing making into the lives of children around the United States," said Mark Greenlaw, Vice President of Sustainability and Educational Affairs at Cognizant, and a member of the Maker Education Initiative's Advisory Board. "As our country looks for new ways to excite children about science and technology, the Maker Corps brings hand-on activities to children, igniting their passion, creativity, and critical thinking by learning and doing."
Cognizant supports Maker Corps as part of its current education initiative, Making the Future, created to unleash the passion of young people in STEM disciplines by creating fun, hands-on learning opportunities. Through financial, in-kind, and volunteer support for schools and nonprofits; advocacy; college scholarships; and its flagship Making the Future After-School and Summer Program, Cognizant seeks to develop 21st century skills such as creativity, innovation, and collaboration that will create a brighter future for the children of the U.S., preparing them to be tomorrow's leaders in a global economy.
This year, Cognizant is supporting afterschool and summer programs at DreamYard Project (Bronx, NY), The Children's Aid Society (NY), the Detroit Public Library, and The Newark Museum, amongst others. The company will fund at least 10 pilot programs this year and plans to scale up the program nationwide over the next five years. The enthusiastic response to Cognizant's Making the Future program has made it apparent that many communities would like to have youth making programs available. Maker Corps will enable this by providing enthusiastic leaders to help launch programs and mentor children across the U.S.
"We are excited to have Cognizant's support in launching Maker Corps," said AnnMarie Thomas, Executive Director of the Maker Education Initiative. "Projects led by Maker Corps members will not only create new opportunities for children to develop teamwork, creative, technical and problem solving skills, but also expand the capacity of organizations to reach underserved children in meaningful ways."
The first 100 Maker Corps members will be placed in the summer of 2013, growing to over 1,000 deployed members by 2015. Maker Corps will work with science centers, children's museums, schools, and youth serving organizations to engage children in meaningful maker-oriented activities. Initial partners who plan to collaborate on this project include the New York Hall of Science, the Children's Museum of Houston, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Exploratorium, the Henry Ford, and Science City at Union Station, Kansas City.
Today's announcement will be made during the final session of the Clinton Global Initiative America—"What's Next?: Towards a More Perfect Union"—which will explore America's economic identity in an increasingly globalized world, as well as what can be done to ensure a creative, innovative, and sustainable tomorrow. A live Web cast of the session starting at 4:00 pm CT will be available on http://live.cgiamerica.org.
Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services, dedicated to helping the world's leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industry and business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50 delivery centers worldwide and approximately 140,500 employees as of March 31, 2012, Cognizant is a member of the NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performing and fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at www.cognizant.com or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant.
About CGI America
President Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) to address economic recovery in the United States. CGI America brings together leaders in business, government, and civil society to generate and implement commitments to create jobs, stimulate economic growth, foster innovation, and support workforce development in the United States. Since its first meeting in June 2011, CGI America participants have made more than 100 commitments valued at $11.8 billion. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will improve the lives of three million people, create or fill more than 150,000 jobs, and invest and loan $354 million to small and medium enterprises in the United States. The 2012 CGI America meeting will take place June 7-8 in Chicago. To learn more, visit http://www.cgiamerica.org/.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.
CGI's Annual Meeting is held each September in New York City. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/ and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.