Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) has announced it is sponsoring 15 Maker Corps Host Sites across the United States in 2015 as part of its ongoing initiatives to inspire student interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Maker Corps supports the training and placement of making facilitators in science centers, children’s museums, schools, libraries, makerspaces and other youth-serving agencies. Facilitators are selected via an application and interview process, and specially trained to help provide safe, creative environments where children can have rich making experiences.
Cognizant has underwritten more than 30 such sites since the Maker Corps program was established in 2012 at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Conference. Maker Corps was developed under the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed), dedicated to the idea that every child is a maker and deserves the opportunity to express his/her creativity. Maker Ed’s initial commitment was to establish a minimum of 50 locations by 2015, giving 140,000 children the opportunity to develop the creativity and technical skills needed to be part of the modern workforce. Maker Ed has already surpassed its goal, building capacity of 51 organizations across 24 states and reaching over 143,000 youth and families.
“We are committed to investing in and advancing STEM education initiatives, and being a leader, in particular, in driving programs that will help close the opportunity gap for young women and under-represented minorities in pursuing STEM careers,” said Steven Schwartz, EVP and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Cognizant. “We’re driven by the same themes highlighted in the Maker Corps program – diversity, relevance and community. Setting the stage for students to have access to more role models and mentors who can foster their interest in STEM learning is another way we can help positively influence the future workforce.”
“Cognizant’s support of Maker Corps enables Maker Ed to provide increased access to maker education at host sites in new communities – including communities in rural and underserved areas – and to further work at returning host sites,” said Trey Lathe III, Executive Director, Maker Education Initiative. “By widening and deepening the impact of youth-oriented making programs nationwide, Cognizant is bringing Maker Ed one step closer to achieving our vision of ‘Every Child a Maker.'”
Cognizant will underwrite numerous Maker Corps sites in 2015, including the following museums: Arkansas Discovery Network, Little Rock, Ark.; MAKESHOP at Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Newark Museum, Newark, N.J.; Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minn.; and The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, Greenville, S.C.
Libraries include Millvale Community Library, Millvale, Pa.; and Wilson County Public Libraries, Wilson County, Texas.
Schools, After-School and Community-Based Programs include Digital Harbor Foundation, Baltimore, Md.; Assemble, Pittsburgh, Pa.; Lab:Revolution the 4-H Technology Playground and Makerspace, Farmington, Mo.; OLE – Organizers in the Land of Enchantment, Albuquerque, N.M.; and ReCreate, Roseville, Calif.
Science Centers include Children’s Science Center, Herndon, Va.; Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland, Ohio; and Science Center of Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa.
“The Science Center of Iowa (SCI) is overjoyed at the prospect of once again serving as a Maker Corps host site in 2015,” said Curtis Simmons, President and CEO, Science Center of Iowa and IMAX® Dome Theater. “The introduction of making has revolutionized programming at SCI and greatly expanded our audience. Our hands-on activities devoted to making are helping us connect with corporations in STEM fields that are looking for grass-roots opportunities to encourage and grow future innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs. Thank you for helping place SCI at the heart of the national maker movement.”
The Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) is a project of the Tides Center, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. Maker Ed’s mission is to create more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity and spark an interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts and learning as a whole through making. Maker Ed plays a national leadership role in developing a network of educators, youth serving organizations, corporations, foundations, and makers seeking to accelerate and deepen the maker movement.