In April, 2009, Time Warner Cable, amid mounting concerns about flagging US competency in core technical areas, announced that it would be giving away $100 million to educational programs working in core science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines—the so-called STEM fields. Their Connect a Million Minds initiative, which is scheduled to run until 2013, has already collected almost 400,000 of its stated million-pledge goal.
Program highlights include a campaign of original televised public service announcements (including my personal fave, embedded above), grants of cash and in-kind support to qualifying STEM education programs (interested parties may apply here), a clearinghouse website and Facebook page where adults can pledge to connect children with local STEM programs, and an online geographically-indexed database that parents and other grown-ups can use to find participating STEM programs in their area. Punching my Austin-area ZIP into their Connectory, for example, returns several free after- and pre-school science education programs from local outfit Mad Science, the summer camp program at the Austin Science and Nature Center, and the Central Texas FIRST LEGO League robotics competition for students 9-14, to name just a few.
STEM education is a major part of our mission here at MAKE, and improving it is an agenda we unequivocally endorse. Connect a Million Minds has proven to be a landmark awareness campaign on that front, and we all wanted to say thanks, Time Warner, for giving something back. Thanks, and welcome to the 2011 Makeys.
- Makey Awards 2011 Nominee 01: Microsoft Kinect, “Most Hackable Gadget”
- Makey Awards 2011 Nominee 02: PanaVise, “Most Repair-Friendly”
- Makey Awards 2011 Nominee 03: Volkswagen’s Fun Theory, “Best Education / Outreach Program”
- Makey Awards 2011 Nominee 04: Korg Monotron, “Best Product Documentation”
- Makey Awards 2011 Nominee 05: Google Android, “Most Hackable Gadget”
- Makey Awards 2011 Nominee 06: Parrot USA, “Most Repair Friendly”
- Makey Awards 2011 Nominee 07: Parallax, Inc., “Best Education/Outreach Program”
- Makey Awards 2011 Nominee 08: Tamiya, Inc., “Best Product Documentation”
- 2011 Makey Awards Nominee 09: iRobot Roomba, “Most Hackable Gadget”
- 2011 Makey Awards Nominee 10: Motorola Atrix 4G, “Most Repair-Friendly”
If you have a suggestion for a company to be nominated for “Best Education / Outreach Program,” or one of the other three 2011 Makey awards, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave a comment, below.