Interesting video on STEM careers. Are your kids aware of what STEM careers are available? Are we surprised why kids wouldn't pick a STEM career? This video has some insights.
So one key is to get more information to kids about STEM careers. I recall when my youngest daughter was a junior and senior in high school, she wanted to be a math teacher. I mentioned to her that teaching was a career they obviously got to see a lot of and there are many careers involving math that she may not be aware of. She ended up getting a degree in mechanical engineering, not because of me, but because she was encouraged to look at other options. I've volunteered for STEM events at my company because I realize not all kids have parents, teachers, counselors, ... who are encouraging them to consider STEM careers.
I once presented at a high school GIS day and saw the difference an interesting presentation can make when trying to get kids interested in GIS. What else can we do to be part of the solution here?
Eileen Mahlow - I'm pleased to say the company I work for has been doing this systematically for a group of girls, every year, for ~15 years. We bring in ~125 girls from several local junior & senior high schools. They attend a "conference" format (they select sessions they may be interested in), choosing from such sessions as "Make your own lipgloss" (engineering), "promote a concert" (marketing), etc. We typically have 5 or 6 streams - some at least partly technical (IT, engineering), other less so. It was eye opening for me the first time I attended just how little most of the girls knew about how the Business world actually works. They thought Finance would be only bookkeeping, for instance (FP&A, anyone?) - and that IT was only about programming (ERP implementation).
I wish we could do it in a "bigger" way, with a broader audience, because more than once I've had impactful discussions with attendees. I have literally said to them "What makes you think you cannot do Job X?" Whatever their reply, so far, my answer back is pretty much "Because if you take the right courses and work hard, there is really no reason you can't do these jobs".
We will only be what we can see ... we only see when there are role models to be observed ... and those role models must be willing to share (Level 5 of leadership from Maxwell).
This is such a great thread. Following for everyone's suggestions on how expose kids to more STEM careers. We are partnering with our local school to create a robust STEM program, so I need all of your great ideas!
Jessica Bolerjack - a couple of thoughts. There is a really interesting (and "quiet" - i.e. people only post when they have something worthwhile to say) LinkedIn group: "Tools for Schools". Also, as a passion project (temporarily on hold while we work on hubs' agro startup) we have a plan to create easy-to-implement and FUN robotics kits. Targeted at both genders (with no pink, or at least no more pink than any other color, sorry Katie!) ... age range ~8-11 ... could be used in public/ private/ charter schools, home schooling/ co-ops, (girl) scout technology badges, etc.
Hubs & I have the idea that children learn best by DOING ... activities that are FUN ... and ENGAGING ... and they learn stuff without realizing it. Disclaimer: hubs is the fun one, I focus more on the learning.
I also think that it's really important - as part of this type of effort - for both girls & boys to MEET a female working as an engineer. It is difficult to become what we do not see ... and boys will never accept girls as equals until we begin that socialization in their early years!
I could talk about this all day, but I won't
We should get you involved in our summit in March!
I would love that.
I am thinking about partnering with Nepris. Christine Saba works there. They help people like us connect with kids in the classroom using tech. It's all Stem
Related. Stay tuned :)
That would be great, Katie Mehnert ... even a couple of events a year can help change lives. (I've seen it through GE's Young Women @ Work program; only 125 girls a year, but it makes a tangible difference for many of them).
Creating Potential is putting together an internship program for high schoolers and associated soft skills for careers in STEM...we're also having our first career panel on November 20 in Anchorage at East High School. Jessica Bolerjack let's continue the conversation on this thread! Check out www.creatingpotential.org and like our Facebook page. Ugh I sound like a crazy marketer.
I will check it out, thanks!
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