Sony Electronics
Supporting Local STEAM Education, Making Tech More Accessible

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While its North American business headquarters are based here in Rancho Bernardo, Sony is a 75-year-old, multinational creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology. From game and network services to music, pictures, electronics and image sensors – Sony’s purpose is to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology.

People are at the core of Sony’s business and values, so forming partnerships to support the local San Diego community with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education is a natural progression for the consumer electronics leader.

Most recently, Sony Electronics launched KOOV Academy in partnership with UC San Diego Education Studies Department to support teachers with STEAM education. KOOV is an all-in-one coding, robotics and design kit that combines digital coding with physical building to teach the next generation of innovators. The program supports educators as they implement STEAM programs in the classroom, in a way that keeps students highly engaged.

“It’s critical that kids have exposure to STEAM within the classroom, which helps set them up for future success in their education and careers,” Michiko Araki Kelley, vice president of new business and corporate marketing at Sony Electronics shared with GB Magazine. “KOOV Academy was designed to support and encourage students, and help make STEAM more accessible to kids, teachers, schools and communities.”

KOOV Academy offers educators trainings on how to design lesson plans and provide classroom support to kick off their STEAM programs. In addition, Sony has committed to donating KOOV robotics and coding kits to classrooms serving underprivileged students across San Diego, enabling them to start their programs.

To further support STEAM in the local community, Sony Electronics is sponsoring the upcoming Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair, held March 15 to 18, which is one of the largest STEAM events in San Diego and Imperial Counties. The fair brings together over 800 middle and high school students who are aspiring STEAM professionals.

Schools send their top students to compete at the esteemed event, where they cover subjects ranging from electrical engineering to animal sciences. Many of the students conduct groundbreaking research, such as the design of drone anti-collision systems or advances in autonomous driving technology. Student winners are offered cash prizes or scholarships to help continue their research and pay for higher education.

Sony believes accessibility is another pathway to leverage contributions and ensure cognitive diversity. The company is sponsoring Cal State Northridge’s annual Assistive Technology Conference, taking place March 6 to 14. The latest innovation, research and cutting-edge technology solutions are unveiled during this conference designed to promote inclusion for people with disabilities.

“Sony strives for excellence in developing new products, services and features with advanced intuitive technologies – that people of all abilities can use,” said Mike Nejat, vice president of engineering system development at Sony Electronics, and head of Sony’s Accessibility Program Office for the Americas. “Effectively addressing challenges in the areas of accessibility will in turn improve outcomes for our entire society. Technology should enable us to do more.”

“Our strategic partnerships with community nonprofits, artisan collectives, schools and industry events benefit the greater good, and are also good for business,” shared Cheryl Goodman, head of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility at Sony Electronics. “Leading accessibility technology development for consumers and providing access to our coding platforms are two ways that we anticipate the needs of our community.”

For more information, visit www.sony.com.

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