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Cisco Launches STEM Challenge 10 to Get Students Inspired by London 2012

Cisco teams up with STEMNET to challenge school children to emulate the Olympic and Paralympic Committee by becoming events organisers themselves

LONDON, 29th February 2012 - School children across the United Kingdom are being challenged to create a plan for an Olympic or Paralympic-scale event  in their home town as part of the latest STEM Challenge managed by STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) in partnership with Cisco, the Official Network Infrastructure Provider of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Cisco and STEMNET are inviting 11-16 year old school children across the UK to get in the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games by delivering plans for an Olympic or Paralympic-scale event in their home town. Students will need to take into consideration all aspects of the event starting with the technical design of the stadium and facilities, all the way to the opening and closing ceremonies.

The challenge forms part of the Cisco Out of the Blocks series – an initiative to use London 2012 as a catalyst to help build a brilliant future in the UK. The scheme, which launched in January, saw nearly 4,000 UK secondary schools receive a set of free Key Stage 4 activity books inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and aims to encourage students to further their learning in maths and science. The resources are also held on the website along with other video content to inspire children to further their learning in Maths and Science and be more aware of future careers that can be derived from a good base in STEM skills.

Launching this week and running until 15th May 2012, students will work in teams to complete the task in a bid to win prizes that include a "gold medal" of £2,500 for the school's STEM club, "silver medal" of £1,000 and "bronze" of £500. All winning teams will win eight tickets to one of the London 2012 events and merchandise.

Key highlights:

  • The Challenge has been put together with the aim of harnessing school children's excitement about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by inviting them to plan an Olympic or Paralympic scale event in their local area
  • Students will be required to enter the competition in teams of 4-6 students by 15th May and will be judged by STEM Ambassadors in local areas
  • Teams are limited to a total of six students and must be aged 16 years or under by 6th July 2012
  • The final eight schools will be shortlisted for the Challenge Final on 6th July 2012, with the winning entry judged by Cisco, LOCOG, STEMNET, Buro Happold and Pearson
  • Winners will receive:
    • £2,500 for their STEM Club (2nd place £1,000 3rd place £500)
    • All winners will win eight tickets to one of the London 2012 events and merchandise
  • STEM Challenges provide a contextual and cross-curricular approach to studying the STEM subjects at aged 11-16 (KS3/S1-S3)
  • STEM Challenges are open to pupils aged 11-16 years from registered state schools in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland
  • For more information about entering the Cisco STEM Challenge, please visit www.stemchallenges.net

Supporting Quotes:

  • Neil Crockett, MD 2012, Cisco UK and Ireland:

"For Cisco, it is not enough to simply sponsor London 2012 and say goodbye after the closing ceremony. We see it instead as an opportunity to inspire and innovate the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders in the UK. With the uptake of STEM subjects dropping year on year, it has never been more crucial to the future of the UK economy to address the shortcomings in ICT education and help school children and students to maximise their potential. It is the responsibility of big businesses and industry leaders to support Government education schemes and inspire this generation – they are, after all, the future of our success.

Initiatives such as Cisco's Out of the Blocks and the STEM challenges are integral to transforming the way young people view STEM subjects. The time is now to improve the dreary materials available to teachers and build a foundation from which to launch the next generation of creative, highly-skilled workers."

  • Kirsten Bodley, Chief Executive, STEMNET:

"The STEM Challenges get students thinking about the real-life issues that STEM professionals face behind the scenes of the 2012 Games on a daily basis and also give young people across the country a chance to connect with the Olympic and Paralympic Games between now and 2012. The aim is for students to experience STEM skills in practice and understand that science and technology doesn't just happen in the classroom, but is a hugely important and enthralling sector to be involved in. STEMNET hopes that initiatives like the STEM Challenges will help to inspire the next generation of great British STEM professionals."

About STEMNET

STEMNET creates opportunities to inspire young people in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). STEMNET helps young people and their teachers access a range of free initiatives to enrich and enhance the STEM curriculum, including the STEM Ambassadors Programme and the STEM Clubs Network.

www.stemnet.org.uk

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.

For more information on Cisco's role as official network infrastructure provider to London 2012 please go to: http://www.cisco.co.uk/london2012.

# # #

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

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