Cartoon Network USA Assembles Science STEAM Team
Cartoon Network USA has assembled a STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) team of academic and creative experts (ranging from Lego to Google’s research and development sister company – X) which will serve as an advisory committee for Cartoon Network’s STEAM initiatives. The news was announced during Computer Science Education Week (05/12/2016 – 11/12/2016). Cartoon Network USA got involved in the education sector ever since donating $30 million towards President Obama’s Computer Science for All initiative, teaming up with MIT Media Lab’s Scratch Foundation and co-operating with DIY Co. as well as Google’s Made with Code, which is an initiative to encourage more woman to get involved in computer programming. DIY Co. owns and operates DIY.org (a creativity website for kids, also previously co-organised an Adventure Time animation competition with Cartoon Network) and JAM.com, a website full of online creative courses, the website teamed up with Cartoon Network this summer to help turn kids’ imaginative ideas into short animations.
Cartoon Network contributed to the MIT’s Scratch Foundation by providing graphics and sounds from We Bare Bears and The Powerpuff Girls. Scratch is a simplified programming language which teaches kids the fundamentals of programming in a fun graphical and animated way. Cartoon Network USA’s president and general manager – Christina Miller also serves as a Scratch Foundation board member.
Cartoon Network’s STEAM advisory committee includes Mimi Ito (Professor in Residence and MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning at UC Irvine), Zach Klein (CEO of DIY Co.), Karen Peterson (CEO, National Girls Collaborative), Mitchel Resnick (LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and Head of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab) and Diana Skaar – Head of Business Innovation for Robotics at X, formerly Google[x].
Enlisting Thought Leaders in the Ongoing Goal of Engaging Kids at the Intersection of Creativity and Technology: From The Turner USA Press Release
Coinciding with Computer Science Education Week, Turner’s Cartoon Network announced today a new board of leading industry and academic experts who will advise, shape and inform the network’s STEAM (Science, Technology Engineering, Arts and Math) efforts.
This is the latest in a series of initiatives and collaborations that began with a $30 million commitment by Cartoon Network, in conjunction with President Obama’s Computer Science for All initiative. Since then, Cartoon Network has partnered with leaders such as MIT Media Lab’s Scratch project, DIY and Google’s Made with Code to leverage coding as a means for kids to express ideas, craft stories and create art.
“Cartoon Network’s unparalleled multiplatform reach uniquely positions us to meet kids where they are and find new ways to unlock their creativity through technology,” said Christina Miller, president of Cartoon Network. “Now, with the leadership of this incredible group of dedicated visionaries, we will accelerate and expand our reach, fulfilling our goal of giving Plurals creative confidence to become the next generation of creators, animators and makers.”
The new advisory board, consisting of highly regarded professionals in research, education and technology are as follows:
Mimi Ito – Professor in Residence and MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning at UC Irvine
Mimi Ito is a cultural anthropologist of digital culture and an advocate for connected learning – learning that is youth-centered, interest-driven, hands-on and social. Her research looks at youth engagement where creativity, technology and learning intersect. This includes a three-year collaborative ethnographic study, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, examining youth new media practices in the U.S., and focusing on gaming, digital media production, and Internet use. Her work on educational software appears in Engineering Play: A Cultural History of Children’s Software. She also serves as research director of the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub and as chair of the Connected Learning Research Network. She is also co-founder of Connected Camps, a benefit corporation that provide online creative learning opportunities for kids in all walks of life.
Zach Klein – CEO of DIY Co.
Zach Klein is the CEO of DIY Co, which hosts two online platforms – diy.org and JAM.com – where kids can learn new skills online and share what they make and do with other creative kids. He is best known for co-founding and designing Vimeo. Other start-ups he is associated with include: Supply, College Humor and Boxee. He is a venture partner of Founder Collective, a seed-stage venture capital firm based in New York City and Cambridge, Mass. He was a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts, where he taught in the MFA program in interaction design.
Karen Peterson – CEO, National Girls Collaborative
Karen Peterson has over 25 years of experience in education as a classroom teacher, university instructor, teacher educator, program administrator, and researcher. Currently, Peterson is the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) principal investigator for the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP). Designed by Peterson, the NGCP seeks to maximize access to shared resources for public and private sector organizations interested in expanding girls’ participation in STEM. She is also co-principal investigator for the Citizen SciGirls Transmedia and Research to Encourage Girls in STEM, SciGirls CONNECT – A Diffusion Scale Up Project, ITEST Learning Resource Center, and Build IT Underwater Robotics Scale Up for STEM learning and workforce development projects.
Mitchel Resnick – LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research and Head of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab
Resnick develops new technologies and activities to engage children in creative learning experiences. His Lifelong Kindergarten research group collaborated with the LEGO Company on the development of the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kits, and it developed the Scratch programming software and online community used by millions of young people around the world. He also co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, an international network of 100 after-school learning centers for youth from low-income communities.
Diana Skaar – Head of Business Innovation for Robotics at X, formerly Google[x]
Diana leads business development efforts for moonshot solutions involving robotic technologies. Since joining Google in 2008, Diana has led the partnerships effort for a number of initiatives across the company including Google Research, with a focus on machine intelligence, the Google Art Project where she has made artwork more universally accessible (including artwork at the White House), and she started the health apps ecosystem on Android when the platform was just launching. In addition to her business responsibilities, Diana has a demonstrated commitment to increasing the number of girls pursuing computer science and engineering and is an emerging thought leader on the issue within the business community.
“To flourish in today’s fast-changing society, kids must learn to express themselves creatively,” said Mitchel Resnick. “The collaboration between Scratch and Cartoon Network has unleashed the creativity of kids around the world, enabling them to program interactive games and animations based on their favorite Cartoon Network characters. I’m excited to join the Cartoon Network STEAM Advisory Board to explore new ways to engage kids in creative learning experiences.”
Learn more about Cartoon Network’s work to engage children in creative coding at www.cartoonnetwork.com.