By Maximilian Clarke

Cisco, official network providers to London 2012, has launched its ‘Out of the Blocks’ Series — an initiative to provide free Key Stage 4 Maths and Science resources to all state-funded secondary schools in the UK.

The initiative goes live today as more than 4000 secondary schools will receive the ‘Cisco Maths and Science Series 2012’, a set of free activity books, including a welcome pack and resources inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the overall objective of encouraging students to further their learning in maths and science.

“Our Out of the Blocks initiative takes our ongoing work in education to the next level by offering support to schools and teachers at a time when they need it most,” said Phil Smith, CEO Cisco UK and Ireland. “This initiative will provide exciting and interesting curriculum-based activities that will help to engage students in core subject areas. For Cisco, this is just the start of our commitment to the Games. Cisco is dedicated to supporting LOCOG in its objectives to build a legacy from London 2012 and what better way than to start with supporting the future generations of tomorrow.”

The Cisco Maths and Science Series 2012 is launching at a key time for students. With just over six months to go until London 2012, a recent survey conducted by Cisco found that 53% of teenagers are already interested or very interested in the Games coming to London. The Series is designed to harness this interest and excitement and teach key stage 4 maths and science in the context of London 2012 and the sports, athletes and venues.

Included in the packs are details of how to access special interactive versions of the Series online, via ActiveTeach. Here, teachers can display the pages easily on a classroom whiteboard, zoom into key areas, explore video clips and download worksheet answers. There is also a launch competition where the first 25 schools to complete and enter the competition supplied will receive a free gift. Entries close on 12 February 2012.

Out of the Blocks will also be a key partner programme in the Practical Learning strand of Get Set- the official London 2012 education programme. Get Set is for schools and colleges across the UK and it supports 3-19 year olds to explore the Olympic Values of friendship, respect and excellence and the Paralympic Values of courage, determination, inspiration and equality.

Out of the Blocks — Cisco and its ongoing commitment to Education:

Launching the Cisco Maths and Science Series 2012 is just one component of Cisco’s many initiatives aimed at utilising its sponsorship of London 2012 to help educate and build a brilliant future for young people all over the UK. Cisco has also been a key supporter of the STEM Challenges - a series of ten activities which have been inspired by London 2012. Managed by STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network) in association with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) each STEM Challenge is a competition that focuses on different aspects of the preparations or the Games itself.

Recently Cisco launched STEM Challenge 6, in which schools were asked to design a website for Cisco Olympic Ambassador and Paralympian Hand Cyclist Rachel Morris. As part of its Out of the Blocks initiative, Cisco will become the only company to support two STEM Challenges when it launches the final challengeahead of the Games —‘Maths and Science Challenge 2012: STEM Challenge 10’— at the end of February.

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