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STEM for K-12 Students by Sheridan, Cisco, & Partners In Research

Sheridan College has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cisco Canada and Partners In Research (PIR), to promote science and technology as a career path and transform the way K-12 students learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the classroom.

Under the terms of the MoU the parties will collaborate on activities and projects that take advantage of advanced video technologies. Cisco has contributed over $1 million worth of collaboration equipment to enable the project. To deliver these solutions, Sheridan College is providing the data centre space and IT resources to support the enterprise-class Cisco Show and Share® webcasting and video sharing solution.

The collaboration seeks to expand and enrich the opportunities for students presented by the VROC (Virtual Researcher on Call) program across Canada. Run by Partners In Research, the VROC program seeks to inspire students in STEM subjects by bringing experts directly to the classroom through two-way video. The VROC program offers five to ten-minute spontaneous video conferencing sessions, hour-long interactive presentations and semester-long mentorship style sessions. Using technology like the Show and Share webcasting and video sharing application, Partners In Research are also able to create accessible videos which are distributed through its website to students and teachers.

Sheridan is passionate about immersing people in learning. - Dr. Jeff Zabudsky

“As a leading postsecondary institution in Canada, Sheridan is passionate about immersing people in learning. We are delighted to offer our considerable experience and resources to the VROC program to help facilitate this goal," says Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, Sheridan President and CEO. "Once students leave grade 12, there are tremendous opportunities for them to pursue applied studies in science, technology, engineering or math at Sheridan. Our programs help to prepare Canada’s young graduates for the careers that they will have over the course of their lifetimes.”

“Sheridan is also using the experiences gained in developing the platform to support, scale and enhance our own curriculum innovation and integration,” adds John McCormick, Director of Information and Communications Technology at Sheridan College. “We’ve introduced hybrid learning to deliver some of our programs and made the technology invisible to stakeholders so that it can be used seamlessly. In addition, Sheridan students have benefitted from having access to the equipment to facilitate group meetings or to contact a faculty member who is on a different campus. With four campuses in three different geographic locations, our faculty members also use the technology for teleconferencing, which saves time, cuts down on travel costs, increases employee comfort and safety and decreases stress levels.”