TMCNet:  STEM Perception Gap among US Kids Revealed

[August 09, 2010]

STEM Perception Gap among US Kids Revealed

NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--

Time Warner (News - Alert) Cable (NYSE: TWC) today announced the launch of CAMM Worldwide, a new effort to explore differences in attitudes toward math and science between young people in the U.S. and their peers around the world. The campaign is part of Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), Time Warner Cable's (TWC) philanthropic commitment to connect youth to ideas, people and opportunities that will inspire them to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The goal of CAMM Worldwide is to put a human face on a very sobering statistic - the U.S. ranks 35th in math and 29th in science worldwide*. And to better understand how young Americans' views on these academic subjects contribute to the low rankings.

This spring, TWC conducted interviews with groups of young people, ages 12-16, in the U.S. and three countries that rank significantly higher in math and science literacy - Finland, China and Australia. Each group also included a small number of parents and teachers. Interview subjects in all four countries were asked the same questions.

"What we heard in our interviews was that youth from outside the U.S. take it as a given that if they want to be successful in life, they have to do well in math and science, said Ellen East, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer. "We did not hear this from the U.S students," she continued. "Outside the U.S., young people were more aware that they will compete in a global marketplace. There was also much less of a social stigma attached to being smart and doing well in school in other countries. In fact, the smart kids are considered cool."

To highlight this issue and spark a public dialogue, TWC edited the interviews into on-air PSAs, and exclusive web video content, to continue the conversation online at connectamillionminds.com.

While there are numerous ongoing efforts to address STEM education at the school level, this campaign is designed to address broader cultural and attitudinal issues that contribute to the low rankings for American students. "It's going to take a culture-wide shift to truly inspire young people to reach the leels they need to effectively compete on a global level," said Tessie Topol, Senior Director of Strategic Philanthropy. "We want to challenge parents, educators and other adults to do more to motivate American youth to confront these issues."

This coming fall TWC will hold a Global Online Town Hall Meeting, bringing together the young people featured in the PSAs (one from each of the four countries), STEM luminaries and members of the public.

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.

* Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006

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