Time Warner Cable Celebrates Six Years of Connect a Million Minds

Making an Impact Locally and Nationally with STEM Education
Feb 3, 2016 3:15 PM ET

It is hard to believe that in November 2015 TWC celebrated the sixth anniversary of Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), our philanthropic initiative to connect students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

In the years since we launched CAMM, TWC has deepened and expanded its corporate social responsibility efforts (which include our work on sustainability, employee volunteerism, and diversity and inclusion), but our commitment to inspiring the next generation of problem solvers has not wavered.

In 2015, we made a difference in the lives of kids underrepresented in STEM with a special focus on girls and students of color. We used our partnerships and content to spark an interest in STEM experiences among students who had likely never engaged in these types of hands-on learning opportunities or thought of themselves as being able to succeed in STEM fields.

In February, our partner 826 National published STEM to Story: Enthralling and Engaging Lesson Plans for Grades 5-8, which integrates hands-on STEM with creative writing. With TWC's support, more than 1,000 YMCA sites across the country received a copy of the book, giving nearly 250,000 young people the chance to take part in fun activities like building ships out of tinfoil and making their own ice cream.

This year, TWC began partnering with Imagine Science, an organization that has engaged the four largest youth-serving organizations in the U.S. (Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Y, Girls Inc., and 4-H) in an effort to use hands-on STEM to reach our country's most at-risk youth. Through this partnership, activities developed by TWC and our partners,including STEM to Story, were (literally) taken to the streets of Omaha, Dallas and Orange County this summer, and put to use in community centers, church basements and even on sidewalks.

With the help of our amazing employee volunteers across the country, we got creative and made STEM connections for girls in new ways: 

In Syracuse, NY, we partnered with Syracuse University's (SU) iSchool (School of Information Studies) to host an annual conference for more than 200 girls from around the country who were selected to spend 3 days on the SU campus. At this “slumber party meets hackathon”, girls met barrier-breaking role models from the tech industry, connected with iSchool student mentors, faculty, and staff, and engaged in hands-on workshops that opened their eyes to the endless possibilities of a career in technology.

In San Antonio, TX, the TWC booth at Girls Inc.’s RockIt into the Future science festival provided a full day of hands-on STEM for the whole family. More than 30 corporate partners were on site but TWC had the most popular booth, where students used cake frosting, fruit roll up strips, and graham crackers to visualize and understand tectonic plate movement along the earth’s crust.

In Kansas City, MO, TWC sponsored the Girl Scouts’ inaugural Cookie Construction event, where teams of local Girl Scouts worked with female professionals in the architecture and design industries to learn how to design and engineer structures out of Girl Scout cookie boxes. Local celebrities, including Kennetra Pulliams, an on-air personality for TWC Sports Channel Kansas City, judged the girls’ final creations.
  Making STEM appetizing was a theme in 2015 – in Charlotte, NC, TWC partnered with STEM2Fork to host their inaugural cook-off event, which showcased four middle schools that are currently growing produce in their schoolyard gardens. Each school competed against each other using recipes in two categories -- the Science of Soup, and the Math of Pizza -- and identified the STEM concepts used to cook the food. To view a video about this event, please CLICK HERE.
  Elsewhere, we strengthened our commitment to the communities where we live and work by bringing STEM to places like local libraries: 

In Dayton, OH, the Dayton Metro Library and Time Warner Cable presented Summer Reading Challenge, which incorporated STEM-inspired reading and programming and prepared young people for success by developing reading and language skills, encouraging discussion through reading, hands-on activities and labs. Across the Dayton footprint, more than 14,000 students in grades Pre K-12th grade participated in Summer Reading Challenge and the Dayton Metro Library administered 631 special programs to more than 18,945 participants. 

In New York, NY, we partnered with public library systems in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens to provide afterschool STEM programs for hundreds of kids across the city. TWC employees connected with students by volunteering at the Queens Public Library STEM Harvest Festival, the New York Public Library Emoticon event and the Brooklyn Public Library's Today’s Teens, Tomorrow’s Techies T4 program.

And in Los Angeles, CA, we kept up the momentum of our STEM in Sports campaign by holding an event with one of the most popular professional sports teams in the country: the Los Angeles Lakers. Over 100 youth from the Challengers Boys and Girls Club and Environmental Charter Schools enjoyed an afternoon at the Lakers training center to learn about STEM concepts behind the game of basketball including geometry, physics and analytics.

If you are interested in learing more about Connect a Million Minds, check out connectamillionminds.com. And if you’re looking to connect a young person in your life to hands on STEM learning, visit theconnectory.org to find opportunities in your zip code.