Press Release 5/26/09
New Partnership Seeks to Empower Students with 21st Century Skills
ITEC, Impression 5 and TechSmith unite to help middle school students develop technology capabilities
Lansing, MI— May 26, 2009 — The Information Technology Center of Lansing (ITEC), Impression 5 Science Center and TechSmith Corp. today announced a partnership designed to empower Lansing-area students with the science and mathematical skills needed to succeed on 21st century jobs.
Under the five-year, $250,000 program, TechSmith, Impression 5 and ITEC will provide innovative and fun technology camps, courses and exhibits that give young people the opportunity to learn the skills they’ll need to participate in Lansing’s emerging technology sector. The two camps will take place June 22-26, 2009 and August 3-7, 2009 at Impression 5 Science Center.
"We know that the information technology industry is one of the fastest-growing in the Capital area," said Kirk Riley, ITEC’s executive director. "And we also know that there is a shortage of IT workers spanning a broad range of skills and occupations that threatens the future of our local economic development. By providing science, technology, engineering, and math educational opportunities to area youth and their families, this partnership aims to help prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow, so they can take advantage of the economic opportunities available in the area."
“Infrastructure upgrades are already in progress at Impression 5 to accommodate more advanced technology experiences,” said Erik Larson, Impression 5’s executive director. “Our entire facility is now a wireless hotspot, and the partnership will provide the resources necessary to acquire multiple laptop computers and related software that will enable students to learn how to program robots, use GPS applications and design digital media –– hands-on.”
As the manufacturing sector continues to consolidate and shrink, IT continues to be one of the strongest opportunities for mid-Michigan’s employees of the future. And according to a 2007 study by Capital Area Michigan Works, it pays well too –– earnings in the IT industry alone are 75 percent higher than the average of all industries. Connecting students to resources needed to develop their ability in technology specialties will be critical to their ability to thrive in future jobs –– and the region’s ability to sustain economic prosperity.
“Our region is united around bridging the digital divide and providing opportunities for students to compete for future jobs,” said William Hamilton, president of TechSmith Corp. “Students need to be exposed to, and inspired by, science and math at an early age to truly motivate them for a future in the field.”
“We aim to offer programs to those who have little or no access to computers, and boost their ability to learn and develop into a more prepared 21st-century workforce,” Riley said. “This partnership is all about creating opportunity: opportunity for school children in tomorrow’s economy and opportunity for today’s students to gain new skills for tomorrow’s jobs.”
About Impression 5 Science Center
Impression 5 is a hands-on, informal learning environment that challenges people of all ages to explore, discover and experience the scientific world in which they live. This mission is achieved through the creation and delivery of interactive exhibits and participatory educational programs. Impression 5 was founded in 1972 through a grass-roots effort of community volunteers that believed science is best explored when people have the ability to choose what they want to learn about and when they want to engage in that learning. Impression 5 is a federally recognized 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization that does not receive any unrestricted funding from City, State, or Federal government. The Science Center achieves its mission through the hard work of approximately 30 staff members and over 200 volunteers! For more information, visit: www.impression5.org.
About ITEC Lansing
The Information Technology Empowerment Center gives students the opportunity to discover the fun and exciting world of robotics, digital media, computer programming and the natural world around them through innovative projects and courses. ITEC offers after-school classes in Lansing-area schools and at area non-profits, and conducts summer technology camps. Founded in 2007, ITEC enhances citizen access, particularly children’s access, to information technology (IT) with the goal of improving performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). ITEC enables Lansing-area residents to acquire flexible, transferable technological skills that allow them to participate in a fast-paced, IT-based economy. For more information, visit www.iteclansing.org.
About TechSmith Corporation
TechSmith Corporation provides practical business and academic software tools and services. TechSmith's solutions enable users to capture, record and enhance digital content from their computer screens so they can share information and knowledge in compelling multimedia formats, and allow others to observe, analyze and learn from their experiences. TechSmith products are used by 99 percent of the Fortune 500. Visit www.TechSmith.com for more information. TechSmith is located in Okemos, Michigan.
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