A record 30,000 people attended the Energy Day Festival in Houston this past weekend. The focus was on educating attendees about the importance of improving STEM education. It also provided an opportunity for top energy companies to start the recruitment process — early.
Industry-leading companies set up more than 55 interactive exhibits and demonstrations to bring energy to life for the kids who came. Direct Energy, for instance, invited attendees to recharge their cell phones by riding a stationary bike. The faster they went, the more power they generated. ConocoPhillips hosted “Math Jeopardy” to give the subject a competitive twist.
Why is this so important for energy? Because three-quarters of oil and gas employees are 50 and older. There's about to be a huge talent gap, and we've got to turn kids on to the opportunities early. And the best way to do that is to make it fun.
If you couldn’t make it to the Energy Day Festival, there are plenty of other ways for you to get your kids excited about STEM. Need help? We’ve got you covered.
- Check out this list of 50 STEM activities to do with your kids. Highlights include turning your name into crystals and capturing fireworks in a jar.
- Encourage your kids to try an hour of code, through the aptly named organization Hour of Code. One-hour tutorials are available in 45 languages, so no excuses. And people who’ve gone through the experience say even an hour of coding teaches you a new way of thinking and problem-solving.
- Try Nova Labs, a free digital platform created by PBS that engages teens in games and other interactive experiences that foster scientific exploration. You can use the platform construct renewable energy systems, for instance, or conduct investigations by sharing the same data that scientists use.
- Set up a home science lab. After all, what better way to get kids excited about science than to have 24/7 access?