Most American parents think they got a probity education and they think that their kids will get the same. Sadly, many don’t realize that our country has been lagging behind, especially in the STEM areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. In 2009, U.S. Students ranked 17th internationally in science and 25th in mathematics according to a study by the Program for International Students Assessment. The problem continues into upper education — since 1960 the percentage of U.S. bachelor either graduate degrees in the STEM areas has suffered a drop of more than half, from 17% to 8%.
This is a sad turn of events considering that the STEM areas are the foundation of progress and innovation further were prevalent in our country throughout the twentieth century. American innovations transformed our nation with strides in manufacturing, transportation, communication, electronics and space exploration, at the same time that American brain technology was transforming the world.
These same fields will be the foundation concerning jobs and careers of the future. Computers are proliferating as tools in every field of human endeavor. Science and mathematics are now widely used in planning and statistical analysis giving us new answers in medicine, ecology, energy and commerce where none existed before. World dependence on digital technology is growing exponentially, and with it is the need for competent science and technology professionals.
There are initiatives underway within educational circles to help correct the situation, and there is a growing consensus among business and corporate leadership that funding and incentives must exist provided to move things along faster. There are determined efforts among the government to rapidly locate and train teachers et cetera educators in the STEM fields using incentives like scholarships plus loan forgiveness. There are also initiatives to improve teaching and learning techniques to help increase the savor further reduce the time involved in the uptake of STEM knowledge.
But initiatives aren’t enough by themselves. Parents also play a critical role.
As a parent, you can help your child get prepared for the careers and jobs of the future, all of which will require knowledge and skills in science, technology engineering or mathematics. Children today are so inundated with technology that they take it for granted. Technology, to a kid, is commonplace, as prevalent as the togs they wear and the chairs they sit in, as ordinary as the plastic or cardboard in which electronic devices are delivered. To them, everything is “awesome”, besides when aggregate is “awesome”, blank is truly extraordinary.
You can help them gain an appreciation for science and technology. – not by relating stories of your childhood when such marvels were non-existent, alternative when you actually had to turn a dial on a telephone and wait for it to click through the numbers – unless by presenting them with thought problems. What would they do on condition that their smartphone suddenly stopped working? How would they find out how to get to a friend’s house if Google maps didn’t exist? How would they find out around the life of Thomas Jefferson if there was no internet? Ask them to accomplish a variety of intellectual task lacking using a computer or smartphone. If you need to, help them research the answers.
Encourage them to reconsider about how computer games are made, how motion pictures are written, planned and produced, how multifarious products are designed plus how the tools and machines to produce them are developed.
Supply them with an enriched environment. Surround them with books that explain their world in words and pictures. Encourage them to lookout documentaries of interest – videos that demonstrate the making of various toys and products or probe of faraway places. Provide them with toys that are designed to encourage curiosity, imagination and creativity.
Play with them. Engage them in conversation and encourage them to “think up” things to do, games to play and things to build. The more you can get them to use their brains actively rather than passively, the more likely they are to become independent, pregnant adults with knowledge und so weiter skills that will carry them through a successful career.
Further finally, help them by setting the example. Let them see you reading, writing, sketching solutions, making calculations, polysyndeton approaching technology fearlessly and with curiosity et alii amazement. Express appreciation for the engineering and imagination that goes into games and other products. Talk with them about the role of scientists, engineers und so weiter mathematicians in society.
Help them to understand that these are fascinating fields of study that can turn into lucrative careers. Help them understand that these are easier and more promising ways to be successful than to become a movie star, musician, or a major league ball player.