Back to School Free Student Access and Improved Faculty Access to IBM’s Academic Initiative, FermiLab, NASA and More Resources

We have one request:  Give us access to your resources!  That is what faculty and students have requested from industry.  Faculty have access to IBM resources and they have the ability to share those resources with students.  With the focus on continuous learning, students are wanting direct access to those resources.  They want access before they have to use it for a project in class or upon conclusion of the class they want access to continue expanding the scope of the project into the next phase or potentially into a startup. These scenarios require student access to the  resources before, during and after class.

NU Students Blueworks Live

Northwestern University Graduate Students Presenting Real Case with BlueWork Live Business Process Management Cloud August 9, 2016

Faculty want student’s to have access to industry resources without them being the funnel for students to use the changing technologies needed to maintain and grow their skills. The IBM Academic Initiative, Big Data University, FermiLab Bringing Science Education to You and the World of  Watson are some of the ways the bridge is being built to link the academic community (faculty/educators and students) with industry and business resources.  Let’s begin…

IBM Academic Initiative 2.0

The IBM Academic Initiative has provided and continues to provide access to faculty to IBM resources at no-charge for academic purposes.  On August. 17th significant enhancements were  made to the IBM Academic Initiative program.  The faculty access has been improved.  Faculty no longer need to sign up to become “members”  of the IBM Academic Initiative program.  Faculty members can assess resources and checkout resources at no-charge directly OnTheHub with their university credentials.    Those resources include access to IBM Bluemix Cloud promo code extensions(12 months renewable), software resources, courseware materials, educator guides and more.

The IBM Academic Initiative page provides direct access to these resources through the IBM Academic Initiative OnTheHub site at,  or if the university has an OnTheHub site the School Finder they can locate their institution’s OnTheHub site.

Another change to the IBM Academic Initiative website is now  students have direct access to some of the industry resources. Students can request extended access to the IBM Bluemix Cloud, Ilog software and more.   Bluemix Extension Promo Codes are available for students to request 6 months extensions to their cloud access.    They can also request additional 6 month extensions as long as they are a student at an accredited academic institution.

Higher education faculty have been using the IBM Bluemix access in their classes for approximately 2 years and now with students becoming proficient  coders in high school and in some cases elementary school the IBM Academic Initiative is available for faculty and students in K-12 as well as those in higher education institutions.

With so much being made available, one key starting point is go to the new link and checkout figuratively and literally the industry resources available.  Here is snapshot highlighting 3 key areas along with the School Finder for you to begin investigating with the above links:

AI OnTheHub Section

Big Data University

Over 400,000 students have taken a courses on Big Data University. The courses are free.   Badges have been added to enable students to demonstrate to prospective employers and others in their network their attainment of additional skills heavily being pursued in today’s marketplace.    Worldwide students are taking advantage of this on-line training site to obtain new data and analytics skills including  4000 students in Brazil and 5000 students in China.

The courses range from Beginner, Intermediate to Advanced levels so you can tailor your training to where you are on the skills continuum as students work to obtain new skills  or expand current skills in a particular discipline.   Below are examples of some of the courses available:

FermiLab:  Bringing Science Education to You


 FermiLab is one of two US National Laboratories in the Chicago area. This national lab for particle physics is also home to where a few buffalo roam.  Why is this relevant?  In many cases students go to the FermiLab campus when in kindergarten to see the  buffalo.  As a key part of the community,  FermiLab has created programs for educators and students to take advantage of the resources this laboratory offers.  The above URL for faculty,  students and undergraduates opens the doors of this National lab as another way to reach the academic community that may have first been exposed to them in kindergarten.  Below are some of the academic community key events planned for the first two weeks of September.   I am looking forward to the Ask-a-Scientist Guided Tour of Fermilab: “E-36 NAL’s First Experiment and an Example of USSR-US Scientific Cooperation” Vitaly Pronskikh.

September, 2016

3   Get to Know Lederman Science Center, 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon, Special Event

6   DZero & Tevatron Tour, 1:30-3:30 PM, Special Event  

7   Get to Know Fermilab Guided Tour, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, Special Event

11  Ask-a-Scientist Guided Tour of Fermilab: “E-36 NAL’s First Experiment and an Example of USSR-US Scientific Cooperation” Vitaly Pronskikh, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Special Event  

14  Get to Know Fermilab Guided Tour, 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM, Special Event


World of Watson:  Education Attendees

 Several times this month academic leaders have asked to be notified of any education opportunities. The World of Watson has two key days with content focused on the academic community.   Consider holding two dates on your calendars for the for the World of Watson academic days in Las Vegas, NE (USA).  Sunday October 23rd is the World of Watson Evolving Education with Cognitive & Data Science and Monday October 24th  is the WatsonEDU Day.  Below are the descriptions if you select Education Attendee on the main registration page.   I will be attending the World of Watson Evolving Education with Cognitive & Data Science beginning October 23rd and then you will be able to find me a that the World of Watson academic experience area the rest of the week.  If you attend any part of the conference, do let me know so we can make sure we connect:


NASA for Educators/Students

 This site provides great resources for students and faculty to see how what is being taught in the classroom is needed by industry and governments as shown by this NASA site for educators and students.  On twitter I frequently retweet posts from NASA.  To show the link between what is in the NASA social media posts and the opportunity to pursue those areas as a career choice is one of the reasons this site is highlighted in this update. NASA provides information on internships, fellowship, scholarship and programs for graduates as part of this outreach to introduce and excite students about space:  the open frontier for science exploration.   Here are a few examples:

Student Programs and Projects

Exploring Careers @ NASA
The modules on this page lead to steps you can take now that may help land the job you want at NASA.
NASA’s One Stop Shopping Initiative Website
Apply for NASA internship, fellowship and scholarship opportunities through a single application.
Pathways Programs at NASA
These programs provide opportunities for students and recent graduates to be considered for federal employment.


Middle East and Africa University

 In coming back to earth, the Middle East and Africa are making huge investments in education and the payoff is benefiting everyone:  students, industry and governments.  Below is an up a class of students who were certified in Business Intelligence in August.   If you want to see more examples of the student going through the programs and being certified, consider following this program on the above URL.  In many cases,  the content is coming directly from students.  Follow, like and leverage this inside track of talent and ideas.


August 24 at 2:21am · Join us to congratulate all 20 students, who have been certified in Business Intelligence, at the Business Intelligence Bootcamp held in IBM Egypt.  #education #IBM


MEA Pic 2

#MEAUTrainings Join us to congratulate all 18 students, who have been trained in Application Security, from Belgium Campus in South Africa  #education #IBM

africa security training


Education, faculty, students, business and industry are key links in the chain for economies to begin, grown and thrive.  One service the Academic Initiative provides includes the seeds for faculty to plant for students to become excited about taking ideas and moving them from ideas to actions. Some students then cultivate those actions and turn them into businesses. Those businesses then become a key incubator in the community as they become the seed for other businesses and then whole new industries are formed.

The IBM Academic Initiative, Big Data University,  Fermi National Laboratory Bringing Science Education to You, World of Watson for Education,  NASA for Educators & Students and Middle East and Africa University all have one  key point in common:  Education.  Why?  Because education is a critical element needed for economic growth.  (Thank you Juan Caraballo!)

Plant a seed (IBM Academic Initiative) , cultivate it (Faculty and Educators)  and watch it (Students) grow!  Repeat.

I welcome your feedback and comments.


Valinda Kennedy

Twitter:     vscarbro

LinkedIn:  Valinda Kennedy




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