Until Computers Can Give Hugs, We All Need To Be STEM Educators!
There’s a whole lot of buzz going on around the importance of STEM education and CareerWise is all for it.
But… we don’t think basic, common sense solutions should get lost in the global computerized, digital, e-learning, etc. initiatives gaining attention.
We think igniting curiosity, passion and ambition in kids can be done by all adults all the time.
Think about it. Have you witnessed recently how excited a child gets when an adult truly listens to what they’re trying to share? The bonds and trust that are built through those one-on-one interactions are visible on a child’s face.
We have a friend with two high school age boys with a family tradition that seems so wise. Every night, after a family dinner, they all play cards around the dining room table for an hour. It doesn’t matter what card game it is; the four of them laugh, share, confide, let off steam and make memories.
How do you think the two boys are doing in school? Yes, very well. And would you be surprised to hear they have beautiful manners, speak impressively about school, their plans for their futures and how much they love their parents? Their father told me he gains more insights into his sons’ concerns, anxieties and dreams during those card games than any test score could ever tell him.
Long distance learning, online assessments, downloaded career exploration programs, etc. are great. But career awareness –STEM or otherwise- shouldn’t be left up to teachers and policy makers. It can happen around the dinner or card table.
The key is to hone in on what makes a child glow with enjoyment, curiosity or a sense of achievement and to help them connect that to their schoolwork and plans for the future.
And for Pete’s sakes, don’t think STEM education is only for scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians to teach! We all know how these areas of study are incorporated into our daily lives. We read nutrition labels, purchase electronic equipment, depend on machines and equipment and balance our checkbooks. Start with what’s very basic and personal and grow STEM exploration from there.
And, while we’re at it, don’t forget that STEM education is akin to the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic that were yesteryear’s buzzwords.
They are foundational disciplines need by everyone nowadays – from auto and kitchen appliance repair people to game developers to recycling advocates to space explorers. Make sure kids understand how basic these skills are in today’s world so they are not daunted by learning them.
Now put down your hand-held device, turn off the noise and listen to the kids in your life to find out how you can ignite their unique curiosity about science, technology, engineering and math.
And when your kids surprise you with their insights, dreams and aspirations, give them a big hug.
CareerWise™ products are based on the premise that opening kids’ eyes to all the fascinating jobs there are in the world is the first step to motivating them to stay in school so they can grow up and get a job someday. Our new 201 STEM Jobs & 201 Green Jobs posters are eye openers! We have many STEM related articles to share with kids on our blog. Visit: www.GetCareerWise.com