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Time Warner Cable and PopTech Partner to “Spark” Youth Interest in Science and Technology - Additional Support Provided by the Noyce Foundation

Release Date: 10/21/2010

(New York, NY) — Today, PopTech and Time Warner Cable announced the launch of Spark, a multimedia campaign designed to inspire passion for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in young people.  This multi-sector partnership aims to build real and lasting connections between today’s Innovators and tomorrow’s STEM leaders, and represents PopTech’s partnership with “Connect a Million Minds,” Time Warner Cable’s philanthropic commitment to grow the next generation of problem solvers.
 
The campaign highlights stories of five inspiring individuals from the PopTech network whose careers have been shaped by a lifelong interest in STEM: game designer Katie Salen, science entrepreneur Hayat Sindi, urban farmer Will Allen, digital artist Zach Lieberman and marine biologist Tierney Thys. Together, Time Warner Cable and PopTech have produced a unique video series that highlights the inspiring stories behind each Innovator, which can be viewed on a dedicated Spark website and made available to Time Warner Cable customers via Local Video on Demand this Fall.

“PopTech has long been committed to youth programming that helps inspire new generations of scientists and social innovators,” said Andrew Zolli, Curator and Executive Director of PopTech.  “Through this strategic partnership, PopTech is proud to promote STEM education by connecting incredible innovators from our network with young people around the world.”

 “Inspiring young people to pursue education and careers in STEM is the ultimate goal of our Connect A Million Minds initiative,” stated Tessie Topol, Senior Director, Strategic Philanthropy & Community Affairs for Time Warner Cable. “The PopTech community challenges kids’ perceptions of what it means to work in STEM fields. And our five innovators in particular show that math and science is anything but boring. It’s fun, cool and can change the world.”

The program also features four Connectors, exceptional high school students and STEM enthusiasts, nominated by a panel of advisors and selected by PopTech, to serve as youth ambassadors for the project.  The Connectors are: Keziah Green (Brooklyn, NY), Anthony Morris (Brooklyn, NY), Molly White (Camden, ME) and Sarina Chawla (Milwaukee, WI).  With generous support from the Noyce Foundation, PopTech created an interactive educational program that will provide paths of engagement for the Connectors during the three-day PopTech conference. In the months after the conference, each Connector will attend an interactive event with one of the five Innovators in their hometowns.  During the conference and throughout these events, the  Connectors will use the power of social media to excite other young people in their communities about the power of STEM.

The Spark program is designed to engage youth and adults alike via an interactive website (Spark.poptech.org) and Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/spark.poptech).  Visitors to these sites will find an inspiring, content-rich experience, including original videos, bios and resources for online, kid-friendly STEM activities and local STEM events.  Additionally, visitors can browse profiles for each of the Connectors and stay up-to-date on each student’s experience at the PopTech conference and their work as STEM evangelists via the dedicated Spark website.

About PopTech

PopTech is an open innovation laboratory and network of thought leaders who are dedicated to finding, incubating and accelerating the positive impact of world-changing people, projects and ideas. We are known for our thriving community of thought leaders, who explore the edge of scientific knowledge, the social impact of new technologies, and the shape of things to come. We are equally known for our cutting-edge annual ideas conferences; our highly collaborative social innovation programs, which incubate new approaches to the world’s most significant challenges; and our media production capabilities, which help share the stories of breakthroughs and the people behind them. For more information on PopTech, please visit www.poptech.org.

About Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable is the second-largest cable operator in the U.S., with technologically advanced, well-clustered systems located in five geographic areas — New York State (including New York City), the Carolinas, Ohio, Southern California (including Los Angeles) and Texas.  Time Warner Cable serves more than 14.7 million customers who subscribe to one or more of its video, high-speed data and voice services.  Time Warner Cable Business Class offers a suite of phone, Internet, Ethernet and cable television services to businesses of all sizes. Time Warner Cable Media Sales, the advertising arm of Time Warner Cable, offers national, regional and local companies innovative advertising solutions that are targeted and affordable.  More information about the services of Time Warner Cable is available at www.timewarnercable.com, www.twcbc.com and www.twcmediasales.com.

About Connect a Million Minds

Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) Connect a Million Minds (CAMM) is a five-year, $100 million philanthropic initiative to address America’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which puts our children at risk of not competing successfully in a global economy. Using its media assets, TWC creates awareness of the issue and inspires students to develop the STEM skills they need to become the problem solvers of tomorrow. Program highlights include: original PSAs that challenge public perceptions of STEM; a unique website, www.connectamillionminds.com, where parents and community members can pledge to connect young people with the wonders of science; “The Connectory”, a one-of-a-kind online resource that makes it simple and easy for parents and students to find informal science and technology learning opportunities in their communities; grants to support non-profit organizations that bring stimulating, high-quality and affordable after-school STEM learning to students; TWC employees, over 47,000 strong, who volunteer their time at community events like science fairs and robotics competitions, and share their passion for engineering and technology with students at CAMM career days. TWC’s national CAMM partners are CSAS (Coalition for Science After School) and FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Local TWC markets are activating CAMM across the country with community-specific programs and partnerships.

About The Noyce Foundation

The Noyce Foundation is named after Dr. Robert Noyce, co-founder of Intel and inventor of the integrated circuit, which fueled the personal computer and gave Silicon Valley its name.  The Noyce Foundation aims to help young people become curious, thoughtful, and engaged learners.  The Noyce Foundation focuses on a few key areas: expanding opportunities for students to experience hands-on science in out-of-school settings; improving the teaching of math, science and literacy in public schools; developing leadership to support student achievement; creating new models for the recruitment and development of human capital in education; and finally, on education policy and research. 

Contacts:

Time Warner Cable
Jeannette Castaneda
Cell: 201-982-8188
Jeannette.Castaneda@twcable.com

PopTech
Micha Thomas
Cell: 310-498-9011
Micha@poptech.org

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