Time Warner Cable has stepped up to take part in helping build science and math education as major players in the Obama Administration's Educate to Innovate campaign to spur students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
TWC said it will invest $100 million in resources, including public service announcement airtime, over the next five years in its "Connect a Million Minds" campaign to create awareness and inspire students with hands-on experience. The initiative also includes a Web site and community events.
Discovery Communications is pledging $150 million for a "Be the Future" campaign in partnership with research universities and federal agencies. It will include PSAs and content from Discovery Education delivered to some 60,000 schools.
In a broadband workshop at the Federal Communications Commission on Monday about research, one of the topics of conversation was the drop in the number of U.S. students with engineering degrees and the need to boost that figure.
Time Warner and Discovery represent two of what the White House called five high-powered public-private partnerships that will be part of the Eduate to Innovate campaign.
Also in the partnership are Sesame Workshop and the PNC Foundation, which are teaming on a $7.5 million investment in math and science education for preschoolers.
"I am committed to making the improvement of STEM education over the next decade a national priority," the President said in announcing the initiative.
TWC is also part of a nonprofit entity that will recruit the business community at large to the effort with help from the Carnegie Foundation and The Gates Foundation.
The White House announcement is the culmination of more than 20 events launching CAMM in Time Warner Cable markets across the country.
The events demonstrated the local opportunities available for STEM education and showcased local features that required STEM expertise to build or create.
In New York City, for example, children built tabletop catapults. In Columbus, Ohio, children raced balls down three different types of inclines. In Milwaukee, more than 4,000 students and parents toured the Discovery World Museum.
Time Warner Cable chairman and CEO Glenn Britt, who joined President Obama at the White House announcement, said in a statement: "We cannot let American students continue to fall behind in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Time Warner Cable is uniquely positioned to provide real solutions that get students excited about learning opportunities in these areas. Our research shows that there is an understanding of the importance of this issue, but also a lack of awareness of the learning opportunities available locally to children. We have two goals. 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."