About CAMM Worldwide

CAMM Worldwide is a new campaign from Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), Time Warner Cable’s philanthropic commitment to connect youth to ideas, people and opportunities that will inspire them to become the problem solvers of tomorrow.

Fact: The U.S. ranks 35th in math and 29th in science worldwide.*

To better understand how attitudes and beliefs among young Americans contribute to our poor rankings, we traveled to three countries that rank significantly higher in math and science literacy – Finland, China and Australia – and interviewed young people, parents and teachers about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and related issues. We compared what we heard from these nations to responses from interviews conducted here in the U.S.

Here is what we heard:

  • Youth from outside the U.S. take it as a given that if they want to be successful in life, they have to do well in math and science. We did not hear this from the U.S kids.
  • Youth from outside the U.S. are more aware that they will compete in a global marketplace and not just against kids in their own country
  • Outside the U.S., there is much less of a social stigma attached to being smart and doing well in school. In fact, the smart kids are considered cool.

To spark a public dialogue and encourage solutions, we edited the interviews into Public Service Announcements (PSAs) for air and exclusive web video content, to continue the conversation online. We invite your thoughts on this critical issue.

On November 17 Al Gore hosted Time Warner Cable’s “Math, Science and the Future of Our Nation,” a Global Online Town Hall. Participating in this unprecedented event were inventor Dean Kamen, astronaut Sally Ride, Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters” Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Microsoft Xbox creative visionary Kudo Tsunoda. These special guests were joined by young people from around the world, parents, educators and other concerned citizens for an interactive discussion on youth attitudes towards math and science, and what these subjects mean for future success.

* Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How were the young people featured in CAMM Worldwide selected?

    The search for subjects to interview was a combination of posting online, interacting with local schools and using local resources.

  2. How old are the young people featured in the spots?

    Interviewees are between 12-16 years old.

  3. Are the young people featured in CAMM Worldwide paid actors?

    No, the young men and women in the spots are not actors. The only compensation they received was to cover transportation costs to and from video shoots.

  4. Why did you choose Finland, Australia and China as points of comparison?

    All of these countries rank higher than the United States in math and science literacy, according to key indicator tests. Each country’s culture differs from the U.S. in different ways and by varying degrees, making for a diverse range of viewpoints and perspectives, which we felt was critical to building a strong dialogue.

  5. How did you determine the US worldwide ranking in math and science literacy?

    We used the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2006. While other studies measure curriculum, skills and concepts, PISA assesses student performance in broader content areas, specifically reading, science and arithmetic literacy.

  6. What do the interview findings tell us about U.S. youth? About STEM in the U.S.? What can we do with these findings?

    This was not meant to be a scientific project reflecting quantifiable data – we met with a small sample of individuals in each of the countries that we visited. Our hope is that the perspectives we captured will help spark a dialogue in the U.S. among youth, parents, educators and others about how our culture values STEM education. Here are some of the things we learned, but we encourage you to form your own conclusions and share them with us and others in your community:

    • Youth from outside the U.S. take it as a given that if they want to be successful in life, they have to do well in math and science. We did not hear this from the US kids.
    • Youth from outside the U.S. are more aware that they will compete in a global marketplace and not just against kids in their own country
    • Outside the US, there is much less of a social stigma attached to being smart and doing well in school. In fact, the smart kids are considered cool.
  7. How does TWC plan to help?

    This project is part of Time Warner Cable’s larger effort to address the STEM crisis – Connect a Million Minds. Connect a Million Minds connects youth to ideas, people and opportunities that will change their perceptions of science and math, to create a generation of youth equipped to solve the problems of tomorrow.

    > Become a friend of CAMM on Facebook

    > Follow CAMM on Twitter

  8. How can parents and others help?

    Take the Pledge to connect young people in your life to science, technology, engineering and math opportunities.

    Visit the Connectory to search for informal science and math opportunities in your community.

  9. Why is Time Warner Cable focused on out-of-school efforts?

    We heard from experts that exposure to hands-on, engaging science and math opportunities at a young age can help build a lifelong interest in STEM. This is also an area where fewer organizations are focusing their efforts, so we felt we would be able to make a real impact by putting our energies here – for example, through the Connectory, the first-of-its-kind online database of out-of-school STEM opportunities, which we created in conjunction with the Coalition for Science After School.

  10. Where can I get more information on the STEM crisis?

    Visit Educate to Innovate, the Obama administration’s commitment to improving STEM education in the U.S.  This website offers information on the STEM crisis and highlights other organizations working to address it.

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