Blogs are a dime a dozen. So why in the world should you take the time to read this one? First of all, you need to know that I am writing for three distinct audiences: parents and guardians of children aged zero to 18, teachers and administrators of schools that teach children in grades pre-k to 12, and business and corporation leaders who need to employ workers with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) backgrounds. If you don't fit into any of these groups, then you might not find what I have to say useful. But then, you still may.
My thirty plus years as a teacher and a parent allows me to understand education from both a parent's and a teacher's perspective. Two of my three sons entered STEM fields: Seth in medicine and Ryan in computer technology. My oldest, Andrew, teaches history to at-risk students at the high school level. I am equally proud of all three and have received much insight into their worlds by just listening and asking questions.
I also got a taste of the business side of STEM when I spent a year as a teacher-in-residence for an organization called Science Enhancement for Science Advancement. The group is sponsored by a refinery and several chemical companies, and I received knowledge in those fields as well. My job was to help implement STEM programs into the elementary and middle school curriculum and coordinate the volunteers from these industries who taught them. I learned more that year than perhaps any year of my life about how the business world thinks and operates.
So these are the stake holders in the attempt to put more high school, tech school and college graduates into STEM fields. The gap between successful employment and needed employees keeps growing. So we need to do more. All three groups need to do more. These articles will analyze current attempts and prospective changes that need to be made in order to promote STEM fields to young learners, and I hope you'll join me.