Ontario Science Centre and Cisco collaborate to create a "connected museum," bringing science literacy to broader audiences

First museum-based Cisco Science Fellowship for Innovative Learning Technologies to foster science engagement and innovation through technology

TORONTO, Sept. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Cisco and the Ontario Science Centre announced their vision to advance the Centre's interactivity and accessibility. Cisco's investment in state of the art Information Communication Technology (ICT) will help transform the Ontario Science Centre into a "connected museum," allowing it to engage even broader audiences in innovative and interactive approaches to exploring science. In addition, Cisco is also funding the first ever museum-based Cisco Science Fellow for Innovative Learning Technologies, with the appointment of the Centre's Sabrina Greupner.

A Commitment to Science Literacy is Important for Canada's Economic Success

According to the World Economic Forum, in the past five years Canada has fallen to fifteenth from ninth place in economic competitiveness. In addition to investments in science, technology and innovation, competitive economies need innovative workforces that are literate in science and technology. Both organizations recognize the importance of a culture of science and innovation for Canada's economic success. 

"With one million visitors per year, including more than 180,000 students, the Ontario Science Centre is one of the most visited cultural attractions in Canada. This collaboration will allow us to develop new modalities of interaction with our visitors and to reach audiences beyond the Centre. Cisco's vision to enable innovation, particularly in education, is closely aligned with our own, and is one of the reasons this is an excellent relationship," said Dr. Maurice Bitran, CEO, Ontario Science Centre. "Cisco's leadership in this alliance has been both innovative and inspirational, and with their technology solutions and expertise, we hope to offer our visitors unparalleled learning experiences that will inspire the next generation of innovators."

Creating a Next Generation "Connected Museum"

This collaboration will provide the technological infrastructure necessary to bring science literacy and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning to broader audiences.

Both organizations will work to modernize and upgrade the Centre's information and communication systems, allowing it to collaborate with initiatives such as the forthcoming Cisco™ Internet of Everything Innovation Centre in Toronto and Cisco's Connected North program that enhances education and health care services in remote northern communities.

"Today's students will be the architects of tomorrow's Internet of Everything. Encouraging students to learn and engaging with them in new and exciting ways are key to inspiring them with the energy and creativity that drives scientific and technological innovation," said Nitin Kawale, president, Cisco Canada. "By exploring technology solutions and integrating them into the new Science Fellowship, Cisco and the Ontario Science Centre hope to light a spark in the youth of today and encourage them to explore the potential that science and technology have to offer."

Visionary Leadership Provided by Cisco Science Fellow for Innovative Learning Technologies

While Cisco offers a number of academic fellowships for science and technology education, the Cisco Science Fellow for Innovative Learning Technologies is its first museum-based fellowship. The goal of this fellowship is to improve science engagement and literacy through the use of integrated technologies.

"With a shared commitment to a culture of innovation, learning excellence and engagement with science, this new alliance opens up so many exciting opportunities," said Sabrina Greupner, manager of the Science Centre's Weston Family Innovation Centre and the newly appointed Cisco Science Fellow in Innovative Learning Technologies. "As a liaison between organizations, my goal is to bring together external collaborators with our researchers, programmers, teachers and science experts to create innovative learning experiences and encourage the sharing of best practices."

This fellowship will allow for research, development and innovation in the use of integrated technologies and solutions for learning science, enhancing the Centre's Science Education program, the largest museum-based program of its kind in Canada.

About the Ontario Science Centre
The Ontario Science Centre delights, informs and challenges the communities we serve, enriching people's lives and understanding through engagement with science of local, national and global relevance. Since 1969, the Ontario Science Centre has welcomed more than 49 million visitors, with an interactive approach that was the model for Science Centres around the world. It is a venue for public dialogue about science and society, aiming to inspire a lifelong journey of curiosity, discovery and action to create a better future for the planet.  Please visit us at OntarioScienceCentre.ca.

About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. Cisco products and services are supplied in Canada by Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com and http://newsroom.cisco.com/canada.

SOURCE: Ontario Science Centre

For further information: Media contacts: Anna Relyea, Ontario Science Centre, 416-696-3273 | c: 416-668-1967, Anna.Relyea@osc.on.ca; For more information and/or b-roll about Cisco "Connected North", please contact: Karin Scott, Cisco Canada, 416-306-7164, kariscot@cisco.com

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