Previously in this blog we’ve covered all of the work that NEC Foundation of America does to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning in the communities where we live and work.
Last week, NEC witnessed first-hand how the foundation’s hard work in the STEM arena is paying off when a delegation attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening of the computer lab at Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School in Dallas.
Among the delegates and speakers at the event were Dallas ISD Superintendent, Michael Hinojosa, Young Women’s Preparatory Network CEO, Lynn McBee, NEC Corporation of America CIO, Juan Fontanes and Lesly Zamora, an Irma Rangel student who interned in the IT department at NEC Corporation of America this past summer.
Dr. Hinojosa stressed the importance of Irma Rangel and applauded Principal Lisa Curry for her role in helping fill the jobs pipeline for young women in STEM careers. He also noted the fact that the school’s success is made possible by the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, and community support from donor organizations like NEC Foundation of America.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fontanes outlined a brief history of NEC’s relationship with Irma Rangel and the Young Women’s Preparatory Network. After a tour of the campus earlier this year, NEC donated dollars, employee time and IT expertise to redesign and procure new equipment for the Irma Rangel computer lab. The new lab sports 26 new Dell computers, updated furniture and an interactive projector at the front of the lab.
Event attendees, including local dignitaries and media, were also treated to a demonstration by Ms. Zamora, who showcased her ability to tear down and rebuild a computer in just six minutes. The Dallas Morning News has posted a time-lapse video of the impressive demo on their blog.
Connect. Communicate. Collaborate. These three tenets of our organization were proudly on display as NEC showcased its Smart Enterprise solutions at Interop 2016, the 30th anniversary of the conference.
The Interop conference was founded to focus on network interoperability and openness. Initially, the show just emphasized IP networks, but throughout the years it has broadened its scope to technology collaboration in today’s cloud computing era.
All the NEC solutions on display were well integrated with this year’s Interop theme – that behind every successful innovation is effective communication and collaboration.
Campus networks include many diverse and challenging requirements, such as technology integration, provisioning, and security policy enforcement. By their nature, campus networks are frequently multi-tenant, meaning the networks must be virtualized so various users can ensure their distinct policy enforcement. Layered switch fabrics, ever-changing connectivity requirements, wired and wireless connectivity, and complex regulatory environments make campus networks difficult to manage.
NEC’s ProgrammableFlow Controller overcomes these obstacles. This solution enables network owners to control and manage their network centrally, bringing the same benefits of server virtualization.
Together with Dell, we demonstrated how to deliver the performance, security, and agility campus networks demand in a cost-effective, easy-to-manage way. Deploying NEC’s ProgrammableFlow Controller with Dell S3100 switches will optimize campus network operations and reduce management overhead, boost scalability, and deliver secure and reliable connectivity.
Also showcased in the booth was NEC’s global open networking partner program, SDN Partner Space. With NEC and Netcracker SDN/NFV expertise behind it, SDN Partner Space enables network and IT vendors to enter the SDN/NFV market and redefine the rules imposed by traditional flat networks, while also benefitting from new business opportunities.
Joining SDN Partner Space can help transform the traditional business by including new applications and services that are only available in virtualized network environment. Moreover, SDN Partner Space enables in-house virtual network functions to be compatible with other SDN/NFV solutions so they can be cross-sold to businesses in any market.
Visitors to our booth were also able to see our high-availability data center on display. Large data computing tasks and the evolving requirements of the Internet of Things requires intelligent fault tolerant solutions to power a Smart Enterprise. Whether on premises or off premises, NEC’s infrastructure solutions provide the necessary foundation to meet these demands.
Interop 2016 was a great opportunity to share ideas, connect with the world’s IT community, and illustrate NEC’s commitment to orchestrating a brighter world.
We live in an age of wonder where technological advances have made our everyday lives resemble science fiction movies from just a few years ago. What seemed fantastical then has become commonplace – and technological revolutions continue to occur at a rapid pace.
However, according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 16 percent of high school students are interested in or preparing for a technology–focused career, such as engineering or computer science.
Many schools are hoping to reverse this trend by instituting a STEM curriculum, which is a focus on the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math.
NEC hopes to contribute to this reversal by supporting STEM initiatives. Recently, the NEC Foundation of America endowed $250,000 to the STEM program of the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School.
NEC also supports STEM curriculums through its educational platform that is designed to align with any school’s STEM initiative.
“NEC’s STEM education offering, CCM Education powered by an organization called PassTheNotes (PTN), directly supports the federal strategic plan of STEM,” said Gregg Alvarez, education vertical practice manager at NEC Corporation of America. “Teachers and students have the ability to upload content. They can make it searchable and tag it to national standards, state standards, keywords, and a particular topic. It creates an interactive content repository that drives toward an enhanced educational experience. And the benefit of being a cloud-based offering is that students don’t necessarily have to be in school to have access to all the material and content they need for their projects and lessons.”
Today’s classrooms are evolving as quickly as the rest of the world. Concepts like STEM and teaching approaches such as project-based learning are transforming the traditionally rigid view of learning one subject at a time into a more cohesive learning experience.
“For example,” said Alvarez, “let’s say there’s news in Florida about a 16-foot, 800-pound alligator that was caught. A teacher can build off this news by creating a project on the ecosystem and environments of the Florida alligator. Through the CCM Education platform, students can reach out to educational websites and YouTube.edu to pull in specific, relevant content. However, they can go further and conference in a field researcher that was involved with the team that captured the large predator. This creates a community where students and working scientists and researchers can connect and engage. It obliterates the question of, ‘Where will I ever use this?’ because students get invested in real-world applications of science and technology.”
Naturally, an essential component is a teacher that is able to use technology and STEM concepts to engage and motivate students. That’s why STEM initiatives focus on preparing teachers to succeed in this new learning environment. NEC’s offering provides platforms and communication features to support STEM teachers in both their classroom preparation and professional development.
“Research shows that top performing teachers make a difference in the student’s academic success,” said Alvarez. “Achievement gaps narrow significantly for students who learn from these teachers year after year. That’s why our CCM education solution enables teachers to design content, create assessments that can be aligned to standards, and really encourage student collaboration and interaction between social learning features.”
In addition, teachers, administrators, and parents can rest assured that NEC’s educational platform delivers a safe learning environment for every student, including adherence to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
“All content that students can access in the classroom is secure,” said Alvarez. “Teachers and administrators can denote elements that can be accessed. They have total digital rights management and total control of content. Students cannot pull material in from unauthorized websites. Our offering supports all the FERPA standards and has 256 SSL encryption to ensure the safety and security of the users in the environment.”
The ability to collaborate and work on projects as a team is essential in today’s workplace. STEM initiatives provide students with skillsets they will use as they move through school and ultimately in the job force.
“Students today are so tech savvy,” said Alvarez, “that maximizing their educational experience by giving them an equally tech savvy learning environment that incorporates real-world events and habits they are used to, such as social media and social sharing, provides them with the best chance moving forward.”
NEC’s official brand message, “Orchestrating a brighter world,” has multiple meanings, but it originated as a way to showcase our global identity and value as a provider of technology and solutions for a better society. We also promote this value by supporting altruistic causes and organizations.
Our brand message was on full display as NEC Corporation of America was a primary sponsor and the proud Official Technology Partner of the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout LPGA Tour event, held April 26th through May 1st at the Las Colinas Country Club.
It was an exciting event, especially for Jenny Shin, who claimed her first LPGA tour win with a two-stroke victory. Plano resident Gerina Piller tied for second place with Amy Yang and Mi Jung Hur.
The Volunteers of America is a faith-based organization dedicated to helping those in need. The group provides affordable housing to low-income individuals, long-term nursing care for seniors, and human service programs for veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, homeless individuals and families, men and women returning from prison, and those recovering from addictions.
The Volunteers of America Texas Shootout is the only LPGA Tour event in the state of Texas and featured 19 of the top 20 female golfers in the world.
The tournament also provided a unique opportunity for high school and college amateur female players to tee it up against the best players in the world through two qualifying “Shootouts.” The top two finishers from each shootout qualified for a spot in the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout.
“We are extremely excited to have NEC as our Official Technology Partner,” said tournament director Kristy Nutt. “Their products and services are second to none and we will benefit from NEC’s LCD display technology. It is great having a sponsor that has offices in Irving and has the same drive to engage and support the community.”
To volunteer or donate to the Volunteers of America, please click here.
“NEC and golf have been linked for many years and this opportunity in our back yard uses a high profile stage to help improve societal standards of living,” said Takahashi. “At NEC, we practice a core value we refer to as “orchestrating a brighter world,” and this is a wonderful way for our employees to be involved and express it.”
NEC Corporation of America’s (NECAM) Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) team had a bit of fun with a team building exercise during their annual sales conference. Kevin Flynn, ETS Vice President, chose a team building event that would bring his team and the ETS supporting teams together by participating and competing in an event that gives back to the community.
Joined by NECAM president and CEO Shin Takahashi and other executives, the group was divided into teams that competed to complete a series of challenges similar to those from the popular television game show “Minute to Win It”. Each time a team won a challenge, they would receive a part of a bicycle that they would later build.
Once all parts for the bikes were given out, each team received the base of the bike that they were to build. But there was a twist. The bike bases were all marked with a specific color tape, as were each of the parts. Teams had to barter and negotiate with each other to obtain the parts that had the same color tape as the frame they were given, truly putting their sales expertise to the test!
The finished bikes were donated to Texas Bikes for Tykes, a non-profit charity organization that builds or repairs bikes that are given to underprivileged children and adults in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, as well as Mexico, Honduras, and Ghana.