Getting – and Keeping – Kids Interested in STEM
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education is the key to manufacturing innovation. We’re in the business of innovation, so it’s important to us to see more kids going into the STEM fields.
A recent study done by Georgetown University found that America isn’t producing enough students trained in the STEM fields to fill jobs in the future. If we plan on keeping up with the growing number of STEM jobs, there needs to be a strong push to strengthen STEM education programming.
One key plus of the STEM industry is the constant need for employees. In a recent Yahoo! Finance article, engineering is where the most jobs are at the moment, and the hottest job is petroleum engineering. However, engineering is constantly a popular field with many job opportunities. As of February, there were 600,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in America. Why you may ask? Lack of qualified employees with background and experience in STEM.
Saul Fenster, President emeritus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology, said the lack of students going into the STEM fields was a call to action. “Science, technology, engineering and mathematics education is not only a prelude to engineering, but also to innovation manufacturing in the 21st century. STEM education is also crucial to fields in all areas of society including the financial, medical and biology sectors. Engineering is a problem-solving profession, and when young people realize it is creative and fun, they are less apprehensive about its more challenging curriculum, and learning is made significantly easier.”
If you want to engage your kids in the STEM field, now is the time! With the summer months upon us, there are great camps and fun activities for kids. In St. Louis, The Science Center has several great activities and exhibits that are perfect for any kid with a budding interest in STEM. This summer their focus is on energy, from energy basics, batteries, electric vehicles to green energy. In Kansas City, Science City at Union Station offers some great summer exhibits focusing on water and genetics.
Throughout the year, French Gerleman supports events and STEM education including St. Louis Science Center’s EVie electric vehicle; the FIRST Robotics competition in St. Louis where we have sponsored the Westminster Christian Academy Cyborg Cats Team 4256; and the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Formula SAE Electric Series of Racing Formula Electric Design Team. It’s truly amazing to see kids and young adults getting involved with STEM. It’s proof that the STEM industry is exciting and engaging to young minds.
The moral of the story is this: kids, now is the time to invest in a STEM education! There is a link between STEM subjects and the miracles of the modern world. It is innovation, hands on and dynamic.