Teaching, Learning & Technology
Sharing best practices from faculty around the world who are using technology to transform teaching and learning.

What's behind the HP Catalyst Initiative

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On the eve of the 2012 HP Catalyst Summit, I am thinking about the HP Catalyst Initiative, the future of STEM(+) education, and a few personal thoughts…


This week I have the pleasure of hosting my 9th international education technology summit, where HP grant recipients around the world gather to share and learn from one another. This year, more than 120 educators from 15 countries will be joining us in Beijing, China for the 2012 HP Catalyst Summit. As always, I look forward to seeing everyone.


I can’t help but take a moment and reflect on what brought me to this work, and how it influenced the design of the HP Catalyst Initiative. It has been a marvelous journey that began with my R&D, product development, and manufacturing engineering career at HP. I came straight out of my undergraduate years in engineering to HP, and only then discovered what engineers REALLY do. I was thrilled to have a good paying job that was fascinating and fun – but I was struck by the fact that the design work in front of me bore no resemblance to the problem sets I worked so hard on.


So when I visited local schools or talked to teachers about science and engineering, I was quick to point out the importance of collaboration and creativity, as these combined with my technical training to provide me the toolset I needed to create. I was (and continue to be) driven by the hope that no student would graduate without a true glimpse of how the things they study can contribute to making the world a better place. Inspired by the educators I was meeting, I returned to Stanford, but this time in the Stanford School of Education, in a graduate program called Learning, Design, and Technology.


The HP Catalyst Initiative continues in this same vein, enabling educators to explore what STEM(+) learning and teaching can (and should) be, and how technology combined with great pedagogy can enable exciting, relevant, and collaborative learning experiences with an international perspective that mirrors the real world of STEM(+) professionals.


This is what I describe in the short (2min) introduction to the HP Catalyst Initiative. I invite you to join me on this journey of changing the conversation about “STEM” education…





I also invite you to view some of excellent HP Catalyst projects online in the HP Catalyst Gallery. Feel free to "Like" your favorites, too!










Jim Vanides, B.S.M.E, M.Ed.
Education Program Manager
Sustainability & Social Innovation

Follow me on Twitter @jgvanides


LTO Tapes(anon) | ‎04-25-2012 01:55 PM

I really appreciate your wonderful knowledge and the time you put into educating the rest of us. I think the game should be more and more abundant, thank you.

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About the Author
Jim Vanides is responsible for the vision, strategy, design, and implementation of education technology innovation initiatives. His focus is...
About the Author(s)
  • A former K-12 district administrator and adjunct professor of communication, Elliott has won over 60 state and national awards in school public relations, is a past columnist for Electronic School, School Administrator and American School Boards Journal, and has been interviewed for many leading educational publications. Recently, Elliott helped developed models for personal learning, which in testing increased successful completion of algebra from 33% to 71% versus traditional classroom instruction. His work is featured by HP at www.hp.com/makeitmatter
  • I am part of the HP Calculator team, working on the HP Prime graphing calculator. I taught mathematics for 20 years and have extensive experience in the professional development of teachers of mathematics. My area of interest is mathematics education; specifically, how technology affects the teaching and learning of mathematics.
  • Jim Vanides is responsible for the vision, strategy, design, and implementation of education technology innovation initiatives. His focus is the effective use of technology to create powerful learning experiences that help students around the world succeed. He has been instrumental in launching over 1200 primary, secondary, and higher education projects in 41 countries, including the HP Catalyst Initiative - a 15-country network of 60+ education organizations exploring innovations in STEM(+) learning and teaching. In addition to his work at HP, Jim teaches an online course for Montana State University on the Science of Sound, a masters-level, conceptual physics course for teachers in grades 5 through 8. Jim’s past work at HP has included engineering design, engineering management, and program management in R&D, Manufacturing, and Business Development. He holds a BS in Engineering and a MA in Education, both from Stanford University.
  • Mike is a passionate education advocate dedicated to helping schools design, build and deliver solutions that solve the complex instructional challenges that face K12 leaders every day. Mike is interested in working with individuals and organizations that share the same level of commitment to improving Instructional outcomes with and through the use of technology

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