The campaign highlights stories of five inspiring individuals from the PopTech network whose careers have been shaped by a lifelong interest in STEM: game designer Katie Salen, science entrepreneur Hayat Sindi, urban farmer Will Allen, digital artist Zach Lieberman and marine biologist Tierney Thys. Together, Time Warner Cable and PopTech have produced a unique video series that highlights the inspiring stories behind each Innovator, which can be viewed on a dedicated Spark website and made available to Time Warner Cable customers via Local Video on Demand this Fall.
“PopTech has long been committed to youth programming that helps inspire new generations of scientists and social innovators,” said Andrew Zolli, Curator and Executive Director of PopTech. “Through this strategic partnership, PopTech is proud to promote STEM education by connecting incredible innovators from our network with young people around the world.”
“Inspiring young people to pursue education and careers in STEM is the ultimate goal of our Connect A Million Minds initiative,” stated Tessie Topol, Senior Director, Strategic Philanthropy & Community Affairs for Time Warner Cable. “The PopTech community challenges kids’ perceptions of what it means to work in STEM fields. And our five innovators in particular show that math and science is anything but boring. It’s fun, cool and can change the world.”
The program also features four Connectors, exceptional high school students and STEM enthusiasts, nominated by a panel of advisors and selected by PopTech, to serve as youth ambassadors for the project. The Connectors are: Keziah Green (Brooklyn, NY), Anthony Morris (Brooklyn, NY), Molly White (Camden, ME) and Sarina Chawla (Milwaukee, WI). With generous support from the Noyce Foundation, PopTech created an interactive educational program that will provide paths of engagement for the Connectors during the three-day PopTech conference. In the months after the conference, each Connector will attend an interactive event with one of the five Innovators in their hometowns. During the conference and throughout these events, the Connectors will use the power of social media to excite other young people in their communities about the power of STEM.
The Noyce Foundation is named after Dr. Robert Noyce, co-founder of Intel and inventor of the integrated circuit, which fueled the personal computer and gave Silicon Valley its name. The Noyce Foundation aims to help young people become curious, thoughtful, and engaged learners. The Noyce Foundation focuses on a few key areas: expanding opportunities for students to experience hands-on science in out-of-school settings; improving the teaching of math, science and literacy in public schools; developing leadership to support student achievement; creating new models for the recruitment and development of human capital in education; and finally, on education policy and research.