" Montgomery County's future, Maryland's future, and America's future lies in inspiring and empowering our young people in science, technology, engineering, and math," said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. "Students here at Benjamin Banneker and elsewhere will benefit mightily from Discovery Communications' 'Connect the Dots ' initiative."
"High-quality STEM programs teach our students how to solve problems, analyze data, and how to work as a team, which are important skills they will need in college and the 21st century workplace," said MCPS Superintendent Joshua P. Starr. "I am excited to share the outstanding science and math work being done at Benjamin Banneker Middle and throughout Montgomery County Public Schools."
Also in conjunction with today's announcement, 150 students from Benjamin Banneker Middle School were hosted at the White House for a STEM education panel discussion featuring administration officials. "Connect the Dots" is an extension of Discovery's ongoing commitment in support of President Obama's "Educate to Innovate" initiative to encourage more girls and boys to excel in STEM subjects.
As part of its ongoing commitment to promoting STEM engagement in classrooms around the world, Discovery Education announced the launch of Discovery Education STEM Camp, a dynamic series of standards-aligned curricula available at no cost to schools, districts, non-profit organizations and parents for use as part of summer camps, after-school learning opportunities, and other educational programs. Created in collaboration with leading educators, Discovery Education STEM Camp combines hands-on and virtual labs, engineering challenges, digital investigations, interactive videos and career connections designed to inspire and engage students in learning about STEM subjects. Launching this summer, STEM Camp will be deployed in conjunction with key partners, including the Afterschool Alliance, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Chicago Summer of Learning Initiative and Chicago Public Schools. The program is designed to support the grand challenges of science issued by the National Academy of Engineers, with curricula built around the STEM-related topics of water, urban infrastructure and energy. The Discovery Education STEM Camp curricula can be accessed at www.discoveryeducation.com/STEM."Building STEM literacy among America's next generation of leaders is critical to meet the global challenges that lie ahead and prepare students for tomorrow's careers," said Bill Goodwyn, CEO, Discovery Education. "We know that learning doesn't stop when the class bell rings. After-school hours and summer months provide valuable opportunities to engage and excite students. Programs like Discovery Education STEM Camp maximize time spent outside traditional learning environments, keeping students inspired by learning and providing them with the tools they need today to compete for the jobs of tomorrow." THE BIG BRAIN THEORY: PURE GENIUS premieres May 1 at 10 p.m. E/P on Discovery Channel. Each week, 10 contestants will navigate engineering challenges using design and logic as they compete to see who will be America's next great innovator. The program is hosted by actor and producer Kal Penn, who also worked on outreach to young Americans in the White House as a member of the Obama administration. Penn and the series were recognized at the White House Science Fair on April 22, where students from the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge exhibited their work. More information on all of Discovery's "Connect the Dots" STEM education programs can be found online at www.DiscoveryEducation.com/STEM. Other programs designed to promote STEM learning and careers across Discovery's businesses include:
- New Science-Related Programming on Science Channel: Premiering in November, critically acclaimed actor James Woods takes viewers on a journey to reveal world-changing breakthroughs and their implications for the future in THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING. Each episode looks at one idea, discovery or grand challenge that will critically alter life as we know it: Synthetic Biology, Predictive Analytics, Habitable Planets, Nano Technology and more. What's happening in these game-changing fields? What does it mean for us? Woods asks the big questions to help ignite debate and reveals a stunning image of the future.
- Media Sponsorship of National Manufacturing Day: Science Channel will be the official media sponsor of Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 4, 2013. Manufacturing Day is a broad-based grassroots effort created to drive public awareness of the American manufacturing industry and manufacturing careers. The network's popular manufacturing series, HOW IT'S MADE, also was named official program partner for the event. Long a staple of the Science Channel lineup, HOW IT'S MADE has revealed the engineering and ingenuity behind over one thousand factory-made products since its debut. New episodes of the series air Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
- Capitol Hill STEM Diversity Event: This fall, Discovery Communications and STEMconnector®, in conjunction with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues, will host an event on Capitol Hill to highlight the importance of diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The event will recognize the many contributions and accomplishments of women and minorities in the STEM fields and serve as a forum for the discussion of policies and strategies to improve diversity in STEM.
- Stoking Curiosity Online: Reaching more than 60 million unique visitors each month, Discovery Communications has long ensured that science and technology are at the core of its digital offerings. Discovery News, which made its online debut in 1998 as a go-to destination for intelligent, thought-provoking content, is now reaching a new generation with DNews, an original online video channel offering smart daily takes on the world with a science bent.
- Lumosity Education Access Program (LEAP): Discovery is a strategic investor in Lumosity, which is committed to pioneering the understanding and enhancement of the human brain to give each person the power to unlock their full potential. As a part of the company's commitment to education, Lumosity provides a no-cost program for schools K-12 called the Lumosity Education Access Program (LEAP), which seeks to study the effects of cognitive training in the classroom. Lumosity's online and mobile programs train core cognitive abilities such as memory and attention, teaching users about the neuroplasticity of their brains along the way, and can encourage a growth mindset in students that builds a stronger foundation for STEM learning.
- Lead Sponsor of Silver Spring Maker Faire: Discovery will serve as lead sponsor of the Silver Spring Maker Faire – the first ever official Mini Maker Faire in the Washington, DC metropolitan area – which will be held on Sunday, September 29 at Veterans Plaza in Silver Spring. The Maker Faire will be produced by KID Museum, an emerging children's museum in Montgomery County focused on cultivating creativity, curiosity and compassion in kids. It will include a wide range of creative, interactive exhibits such as constructing and racing your own lunar Rover with NASA scientists, experimenting with 3D printers, building a giant marble run, using recycled materials to create new toys and taking apart and repurposing real objects, such as electronics and toys.
- Open House at the Discovery Creative and Technology Center: In conjunction with National Manufacturing Day, Discovery will conduct an open house at its Discovery Creative and Technology Center (DCTC) in Silver Spring, Maryland. The public will have the opportunity to see first-hand how Discovery manufactures content for its portfolio of U.S. networks, and the skilled job opportunities available in the media industry.