While citizen engagement and education are key responsibilities for smart cities transformations, many cities would likely welcome some help with educating their citizens in the value and benefits smart cities can bring.
And finding the well-trained employees and innovators needed to operate and manage smart cities and their new, connected technologies is a top priority. But recruiting, training and retaining those professionals can be a chore: there's a shortage of qualified personnel and the competition for them is intense because other technology-based businesses and industries want them too.
To help resolve both issues, Council Lead Partner Itron and partners will work with communities throughout the country by bringing them an interactive STEM app, free of charge, to improve energy and water literacy for K-12 and college students, industry and the general public.
It's more than what you might think of as an 'app,' really. It's a curriculum that includes audio and video, interactive exercises, maps and games. Working with partner Disco Learning Media which will build the app and distribute it through several platforms, Itron wants to reach at least 10,000 students this year -- and plans to take the program global in 2017.