A study once reported that 84% of middle school students said they would rather clean their room, eat their vegetables, go to the dentist or take out the garbage than learn math or science. Really? Our kids would rather have their teeth pulled than learn math or science?
It’s no secret that many American children have a hard time believing that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is, well… cool. Perhaps it might explain why the U.S. ranks 25th in math and 17th in science throughout the world.
That’s why Time Warner Cable is so passionate about Connect A Million Minds or CAMM. It’s not just a catchy acronym. It’s what we do. “CAMM is an initiative the company deeply believes in, because we’re in the business of science and technology,” explained Jim Gordon, GVP of Corporate Brand and Reputation for Time Warner Cable. “A future filled with a promising generation of scientists and engineers not only benefits our company, it also greatly benefits our world.”
TWC launched CAMM back in November, 2009. The philanthropic initiative is a five-year commitment to provide 100 million in cash and in-kind resources to address America’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math.
So here we are in year four, and in case you’re wondering, we’re doing pretty well. We’re quickly approaching 650,000 pledges on our Connect A Million Minds website and the number keeps growing. With just under two years left, we’re stepping up our efforts to meet our goal of connecting one million minds.
For those of you not familiar with taking the pledge, it’s simple. We’re not asking you to pledge any money. All we’re asking is that you log onto the website and pledge to connect a child to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math.
So what does that mean? In basic terms, your pledge could simply mean taking your kids or your neighbors’ kids to a science museum. Perhaps you might pledge to enroll a niece or a nephew in an after-school robotics club. Or maybe you’re the bold type and you help organize a field trip to your local TV station to see how a meteorologist forecasts the weather.
Whatever you chose, the goal is to get a child to say, “Wow! That’s cool.” Now you might say to yourself, “well, that’s not a lofty goal.” Ah, but it is. You see, something so straightforward as “Wow! That’s cool” might just inspire a young mind to choose an education and ultimately a career in the field of STEM. Who knows? Your “Wow Kid” could someday land on Mars, or design a new weather radar system, or even cure cancer. Those are pretty lofty goals if you ask me, and it starts with a pledge.
At Time Warner Cable, we like to practice what we preach. That’s why February is CAMM Month. In fact, it’s our very first CAMM Month ever and we’re using the time to re-educate and re-energize our employees to help us with our ongoing efforts. “We want to get our employees excited about the program,” explained Leah Gutstadt, Manager of Public Affairs for Time Warner Cable. “We want them to feel a sense of pride about our company and the difference we’re making.”
Among the many activities planned throughout the month, we’re asking both the public and all 50,000 Time Warner Cable employees to take the 3-2-1 Pledge! By going to the CAMM website, visitors who take the pledge also enter for a chance to win an out-of-this-world sweepstakes. We’ll select one winner from the public and one from our employees. Selected winners receive a trip for four to visit one of our nation’s aerospace treasures – either the Space Shuttle Enterprise in New York City or the Space Shuttle Endeavour in Los Angeles.
Not a bad prize for taking a simple pledge that could possibly change a child’s life. “Wow! That’s cool.”