As a means of increasing youth appreciation for math and science, technology giant IBM recently held an open house for students at its East Fishkill, New York, microchip manufacturing center, which produces chips used by current video game consoles.
Educational sessions during the event were led by IBM's director of Internet Technology and Strategy, Dr. Michael Nelson, who commented, "The introduction of next generation systems from the leaders in video gaming offers a unique opportunity to reinforce the importance of math and science education at the earliest possible age."
In addition, IBM representatives confirmed that the company plans to distribute an educational package, including print, video and other multi-media materials, to members of its global volunteer organization On Demand Community
as a means encourage student enthusiasm for math by highlighting the technology behind the latest video game consoles.
The open house event, which saw participation by students from Bronx and Dutchess counties in New York, featured a presentation about gaming technology and how it is changing education, health care, energy exploration and other industries. In addition, students had the opportunity to experience first hand the next generation of gaming consoles and meet some of the IBM employees responsible for developing the chips that power them.
IBM is also heavily involved in other similar educational initiatives as well. The company's KidSmart Early Learning Program begins with pre-K students, and introduces them to math and science through its Young Explorer computers equipped with early-learning educational software.
"It's never too early to start learning about the science behind gaming," commented Robin Willner, vice president of IBM Global Community Initiatives.
"An important factor in keeping kids engaged in math and science is making the subjects interesting and relevant to them," added Willner. "Gaming technology is fun and helps us demonstrate that science and technology careers are fun and full of opportunities, too. Taking gaming technology to students is the perfect next step in IBM's work to encourage students to stick with their math and science studies."