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Archive for the ‘STEM education’ Category

Encouraging More Minority Tech Entrepreneurs

Friday, October 28th, 2011

CyberSynchs company founder, Amos Winbush III, recently participated on a panel sponsored by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual legislative conference. The panel, entitled: “African Americans: Joining the Leading Edge of the High Tech Boom,” focused on creating opportunities for minorities to become more active in the technology field.

As an extension of the panel, CyberSynchs announced a partnership with Congresswoman Lee to increase minority participation in the technology industry through entrepreneurship. Both parties are committed to raising awareness about opportunities in the technology field.

One of the avenues to increasing minority participation in technology is through education. According to a July 2011 report from the Department of Commerce, STEM jobs are expected to rise by 17%. And those in the STEM field can expect incomes of 26% higher than non-stem workers. Increasing the awareness of STEM education and careers, will certainly lead to entrepreneurship in the field as well.

Additionally, the partnership announcement highlights the fact that unemployment currently stands at 9.1%. While becoming an entrepreneur in a down economy may not seem ideal, now is the best time to offer resources to those interested in becoming entrepreneurs.

A great example is CyberSynchs, which was launched in 2008 at the height of the recession. Company founder, Amos Winbush III, realized a good idea shouldn’t be regulated to an up or down economy. Since launching CyberSynchs three years ago, the company, as well as Amos, has received a number of honors. In 2010, Entrepreneur Magazine recognized us as one of the 100 Most Brilliant Companies. Additionally, Amos was a member of Inc. Magazine’s 2010 class of 30 Under 30, received the Black Enterprise Innovator of the Year Award, recognized as a Game Changer by the New York Enterprise Report, and most recently received the Inspiration Award from Project Enterprise, a New York City organization that supports and develops entrepreneurs and small businesses in under-resourced communities.

There has been a growth of minority tech entrepreneurs as of late. One example includes participants in the NewMe Accelerator. Launched by co-founders Angela Benton and Wayne Sutton, NewMe is a business accelerator for minority led start-ups. Minorities are making strides in the technology field, but participation could be larger.

CyberSynchs has committed a portion of the company’s earnings toward organizations charged with changing communities around the country. We’re also hopeful other entrepreneurs, as well as venture capitalists, will play a part by providing funding to communities to help develop minority tech entrepreneurs.

Technology – What Age is Too Young?

Friday, October 14th, 2011

It’s not news that technology continues to leave a major impact on our daily lives. But sometimes it’s the little things that make us stop and actually realize this.

A video of a one year-old attempting to use a magazine as an iPad has recently gone viral on the web. As of this post, there were over 100 comments on the video. People shared why they thought the toddler’s advance use of technology is awesome. While others commented that the toddler’s easy use of technology is scary because it’s all she will ever know.

But this is the world in which we live in. Technology is becoming a part of our lives at a younger age. Take a moment to Google “babies playing with iPads” and you’ll see a slew of results. And there are also a number of children’s games developed specifically for the iPad. Parents have also found that the iPad is a great way to simulate their children.

While everyone has a different opinion on if children should be exposed to technology while young, we think it’s a great opportunity to start children on the path to careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). For instance, children who are exposed to video games and actively play them while growing up may very well become the next generation of engineers and animators of the video gaming industry. A child accustomed to using technology devices since birth, may choose a career path as a technology innovator.

With the appropriate exposure to technology and the proper foundation of STEM education, the opportunities are endless. So next time you see a baby playing with its parents smartphone, don’t think that society is doomed. Just imagine, that child may be the Steve Jobs of their generation!

Do you have any thoughts on children using technology? Share your thoughts in the comment section. We would enjoy your feedback.

STEM Education Continues to be Important

Friday, September 30th, 2011

This week, First Lady Michelle Obama discussed the important of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, especially as it relates to women and girls. Mrs. Obama’s speech regarding STEM occurred during the launch of the NSF Career-Life Balance Initiative, which is a 10-year plan to provide more flexible work schedules to women and men in research careers. The National Science Foundation (NSF) spearheads the initiative.

The initiative provides practical work-life suggestions for those working in the research field, including allowing the postponement of of grants for childbirth or adoption. These suggestions would allow those in the field to continue their career in the research profession without it being extremely restrictive.

And while this promotion of flexibility is geared towards current STEM professionals, they also directly affect anyone considering studying in these fields. For example, a spouse is considering pursuing a STEM Ph.D., but the family also knows they’ll want to start a family, they can be reassured that time off will not affect any of their grants.

Another important factor in the talk regarding STEM education is ensuring there are enough students pursuing these careers. At CyberSynchs, we believe in ensuring STEM education is available to everyone and that potential students are aware of the benefits of working in the field. We’ve made a commitment to work with children as young as middle school to stress the important of STEM and the fun they can have by working in these fields.

Mashable, the online news site covering digital culture, social media and technology, featured an article on how to get more students interested in math, science and tech careers. The article features an infographic with some insightful statistics. For instance, 68% of female participants, from a survey highlighted in the article, said a teacher or class got them interested in science, math, engineering or technology. And 93% of parents believe the focus of STEM education should be a priority in the U.S., but less than half think it’s actually a focus.

It appears as though there are opportunities to ensure more students gain interest in STEM. Parents and teachers can continue to highlight the benefits of STEM education of students. And we can also put into place a national initiative focusing on students and STEM. In September of 2010, the White House announced the launch of Change the Equation, a CEO-led initiative to improve STEM education. Public and private partnership initiatives such as this have the power to increase the availability of STEM education and increase student interest in the subjects.