Design Squad Training Launch, November 9, 2006
National Academy of Engineering, Washington, DC
Cathleen Barton – Intel Foundation, U. S. Education Manager
Good morning. My name is Cathleen Barton and I’d like to welcome all of you and thank you for being here. I am proud and excited to be here this morning an to be partnering with WGBH and the National Science Foundation, with other Design Squad Sponsors and with all of you to bring Design Squad and the fun, challenge and possibilities of engineering to kids across the country.
Before I make some brief remarks, I’d like to introduce the rest of the Intel team so that you know who they are as we work together throughout the day.
- Wendy Hawkins, Director of World Wide Strategic Initiative and the Director of the Intel Foundation.
- Kimberly Liss, our Marketing and Strategic Programs Manager.
- Our Massachusetts and East Coast Team: Rob Richardson, Education Manager; Sherron Benoit, Community Affairs and Volunteerism Manager and Patrick Ward, our Media and Communications Manager.
When Design Squad was presented to us, way back when its working title was still Lazy Bones, we wanted to be involved with it because we saw it as an opportunity to help Intel work on the critical issue of US competitiveness. We also thought and I’ll admit, hoped, that this would also help others, like all of you, who are excited about engineering, and understand the importance of maintaining US competitiveness and are passionate about helping kids learn about engineering and see new opportunities. By looking at all of you here today, before Design Squad has even premiered, it looks like our hopes were well placed; thank you.
In addition to learning about Design Squad today, you will also hear and learn from others about new and/or additional resources that can compliment Design Squad. Some that we have had the pleasure of supporting and helping to develop include:
- Project Lead the Way, a middle school and high school engineering curriculum;
- The Boston Museum of Science’s Engineering is Elementary, K-5 engineering modules that can be used with the most common elementary science curriculums;
- Design And Discovery, an informal engineering education and design process curriculum that Intel originally developed with Girl Scouts, and finally,
- Cyberchase, a PBS kids show produced by WNET that engages kids in mathematics as they solve mysteries and capers with Motherlode and Digit.
Speaking of US competitiveness, I am sure that most of you have read the National Academy of Science report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, and if not, I strongly encourage you to read it. That report talks about the importance of innovation to global competitiveness and the three conditions necessary to innovation:
The first is education, the second, the creation of new ideas and the third, the environment to take those ideas and develop new products, services and businesses that drive economic growth and provide the standard of living that we have come to expect, enjoy and aspire to in the US.
You will bring all three of these things to the students whose lives you touch with Design Squad.
I am guessing that many of you have also read the National Academy of Engineering report on the Engineer of 2020, and how we will need more engineers, employed across a broader range of occupations than we can even imagine. In order to meet this challenge we must fully engage all students; we cannot afford to leave untapped the potential of any student. I will not go through statistics about the under-representation of women and minorities that you are all familiar with , but I will say that we know that no students are less capable and interested in engineering, or math or science…..
We also know that most students benefit from the application of creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, and math and science.
You will be bringing all of these opportunities to the students with whom you share Design Squad. You will introduce them to projects that make them think and say, “Wow! This is engineering? I never knew that. COOL!”
You are building bridges for them—making visible and real, their potential and the potential of engineering. You are showing them how they can change lives and improve the world.
I can hardly think of anything more exciting, and I know that many of you feel that way too…..We at Intel look forward to working with you on this wonderful project and pursuit. Our Chairman, Craig Barrett, has quoted on a number of occasions an Irish poet, William Butler Yeats, , who said that education is not like filling a pail but rather like lighting a fire…..
So, let’s get on with today so that we can ignite some passion and light some fires.