FIRST Founder Keynotes U.S. News and World Report STEM Summit

The first-ever Leadership Summit on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) presented by U.S. News & World Report, June 27-29 in Dallas, Texas will feature leaders from FIRST, LEGO Education and Time Warner Cable (TWC) who are collaborating on programs that ignite kids’ interest in STEM and address the shortage of STEM-related skills in the workforce.

Iconic inventor and FIRST founder Dean Kamen, Jon Dudas, president of FIRST, Stephan Turnipseed, president, LEGO® Education, North America, and Tessie Topol, senior director of Strategic Philanthropy & Community Affairs at TWC, are part of a roster of STEM thought leaders who will explore successful pathways to STEM careers during the three-day event.

Kamen, Dudas, Turnipseed and Topol will engage attendees in thought-provoking discussions and collaborate with other conference speakers – including corporate executives, policymakers, and technology experts – on specific outcomes that will advance the future STEM workforce.

“We need to foster ideas and opportunities that will bolster our competitive edge and drive economic growth,” said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer, U.S. News and World Report. “By harnessing the power of thought leaders such as Dean, Jon and Tessie, we can probe complex issues and build upon successful ideas that will help young people thrive in future STEM careers and build a stronger workforce.”

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend U.S. News STEM Solutions 2012: A Leadership Summit, co-presented by Innovate+Educate and STEMconnector.

Kamen will be a keynote speaker at the U.S. News STEM Solutions 2012 on June 27, from 5:30-6:30pm. Kamen will engage participants on how to make science cool for kids during a keynote conversation with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Global Cultural Ambassador and the NBA’s leading all-time scorer;  Mortimer  B. Zuckerman, chairman and editor-in-chief, U.S. News & World Report; and Glenn Miller, vice president of Technical Operations, Lockheed Martin Corporation.

The discussion will feature highlights from FIRST Championship 2012, an international STEM celebration honoring kids’ accomplishments in FIRST robotics programs for kids K-12.

Kamen founded FIRST, a not-for-profit, more than 20 years ago. Since its inception, FIRST has provided more than one million student robotic experiences as part of its mission to inspire young people to become science and technology heroes.

Dudas and Turnipseed will participate in the session, “Leading by Example: The Need for STEM Mentors”, on June 28 from 3:45-4:45pm. The session will focus on the importance of mentors for guiding young innovators in their exploration of STEM careers.  Participants will also include Norman L. Fortenberry, PhD, executive director, American Society for Engineering Education; Laura Kaeppeler, Miss America 2012; and Melissa Gregson, managing director, STEM Initiative, Teach For America, who will moderate.

The robotics programs at FIRST offer students the chance to work with professional engineering mentors on robotics challenges, and networking opportunities to find internships with leading companies such as BAE, Boeing, and Johnson & Johnson.

Topol will participate in the keynote panel “Making STEM Cool After School”, on June 29 from 8:20-9:30am, with Wes Bush, Chairman, CEO, and President, Northrop Grumman Corporation and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr.  The session will highlight TWC’s Connect a Million Minds program as an effective corporate/nonprofit partnership engaging youth in STEM opportunities.

Connect a Million Minds in STEM

FIRST and TWC became strategic partners in support of Connect a Million Minds, TWC’s five-year, $100 million cash and in-kind philanthropic initiative to address America’s declining proficiency in STEM. Topol spearheaded the initiative and has grown the program to include a STEM contest with called Wouldn’t It Be Cool If. TWC, Kamen and unveiled contest winners and honored them for their inventive ideas during FIRST Championship 2012.

U.S. News STEM Solutions 2012 will also feature live student robotic demonstrations by Dallas-area students involved in the FIRST Robotics Competition.

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