TEANECK, N.J., Sept. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) will announce the company's Making the Future education initiative, focused on inspiring in children a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), at the World Maker Faire, a celebration of invention, creativity, and do-it-yourself (DIY) culture, taking place Sept. 17-18, 2011, at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) in Queens, N.Y. As part of this initiative, Cognizant will also announce the creation of a permanent Cognizant Maker Space at the New York Hall of Science.
"On the site of the 1964 New York World's Fair, a time of the nascent Space Age with its vista of promise, I am excited to share Cognizant's vision for Making the Future, our program for investing in STEM education," said Cognizant's D'Souza, who is also on the NYSCI board of trustees. "The space age inspired my generation to study math and science, and fueled a nation's competitive and innovative spirit. We plan to invest in a new generation of innovation, through an education system that ignites in children the joy of learning and a passion for making, building and creating things."
Cognizant CEO and President Francisco D'Souza will speak about Cognizant's commitment to STEM education as part of a distinguished panel on "Making, Education, and Innovation" on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 1:00pm, where experts will discuss the impact that making can have on education and innovation in the U.S. In addition to D'Souza, the panel will feature:
- Tom Kalil, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and an outstanding champion for the maker movement and its potential benefit to the U.S.;
- Dr. Margaret Honey, CEO of NYSCI and a widely recognized expert on how digital technologies can support children's learning across the STEM disciplines; and
- Panel moderator Dale Dougherty, founder of MAKE Magazine, creator of Maker Faire, co-founder of O'Reilly Media and one of the acknowledged leaders of the maker movement.
About Making the Future
The mission of Cognizant's Making the Future education initiative is to invest in new and existing programs that will spark creativity and unleash the passion of young people in the STEM disciplines – science, technology, engineering, and math. Cognizant believes that fostering interest in STEM literacy while developing 21st-century skills like creativity, innovation, and collaboration will create a better future for our children, while preparing them to be tomorrow's leaders in our global economy – essential to fast-growing companies like Cognizant.
Cognizant will outline a three-pronged plan at the Maker Faire:
- Cognizant Maker Space at the New York Hall of Science: Cognizant is funding the creation of a permanent 1,200-square-foot area where children of all ages can experience the joy of making things, testing them, and displaying them using a mix of fabrication, digital, and everyday tools and objects. The Cognizant Maker Space will add a new dimension to NYSCI's ability to create engaging and innovative learning experiences for school groups, visitors, and families. The area will be situated inside the main hall and is expected to be operational by early 2012.
- Partnerships: Through financial and technological support and volunteerism, Cognizant is partnering with major educational nonprofits to create and expand programs that emphasize hands-on, project-based learning to help children. One of these is Citizen Schools, a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for low-income students and connects scientists and engineers with students to teach hands-on "apprenticeship" courses. A second is Engineering is Elementary, a Museum of Science, Boston, program that provides a basic engineering curriculum for use by teachers in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.
- After-School and Summer Program: Cognizant is partnering with thought leaders at NYSCI, Maker Faire and MAKE Magazine to develop a community-based after-school and summer program called Making the Future. Children participating in Making the Future programs will make a project of their choosing ranging from electronic gadgets, robots, and software programs to crafts, music, or technology-enhanced clothing. Through grants to various community organizations, Cognizant plans to launch the program at 10 to 20 locations around the U.S. in the summer of 2012, and grow the program nationwide over the next five years. The grants will cover required tools and equipment, project materials, and stipends for teachers and makers who facilitate the programs.
The Making the Future program builds on Cognizant's current advocacy efforts to advance and invest in new ways the U.S. delivers STEM education. Cognizant is a member of several advocacy organizations, including the Business Roundtable and Change the Equation, a CEO-led initiative to cultivate widespread STEM literacy.
"Making is important because hands-on, project- and design-based learning approaches are more consistent with the cognitive processes and learning styles we attribute to the millennial generation and younger," said Mark Greenlaw, Vice President for Sustainability and Educational Affairs at Cognizant and Program Director of Making the Future. "Making things is fun, but it's much more. Making sparks creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and other important skills, and appeals to both girls and boys across a broad range of socio-economic backgrounds."
This year's Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) in Queens, N.Y., is expected to draw over 30,000 visitors and feature over 500 makers of all ages, with projects ranging from giant fire-breathing dragons to rug-hooking to remote-control airplanes to interactive sculptures, music, arts, crafts, and inventions of all kinds.
For more information on the New York Maker Faire, visit www.makerfaire.com/newyork/2011/.
For more information on the New York Hall of Science and direction, visit www.nysci.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 118,000 employees as of June 30, 2011, 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.