Today I have three sons that have graduated from college and are employed. Two of the three are in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) positions. The first is a banker, the second is a materials engineer, and the third is a mobile app developer. At this point we have 66 percent of our children engaged in STEM careers.
My wife and I home schooled our five children while they were in elementary and middle school. My wife handled the bulk of the teaching duties while I was the Principal and Science teacher. Besides using the book to teach the basic sciences to all my children, we also had experiments on a weekly basis. To me (and also to them) this was the highlight of the week. We had the exploding volcano, fuel-cell car, water rockets, Estes rockets, paper airplanes, monkey guns, DC motors and more. Some of these demonstrated Newton’s three laws of motion. Now and then we checked out rocks, rock formations, stars, clouds, cloud formations, and some basics about biology. But most of all it was things that moved. Thinking back and speaking with my sons, this is what kept them engaged in science.
These activities were the genesis of their interest in the sciences and math. My materials engineer has taken up a hobby building high-powered PCs and keeps up with all of the changes in solid-state storage technology. The mobile app developer loves his job and is integrating some of his artistry into his software. Life is great for both of them.
So, what have you done with your children regarding their future? Are you providing opportunities where you can see those activities where they have a passion? Some day your sons and daughters will come to you and ask you what career they should pursue. Now is the time to watch what motivates them the most.
I ran across an article that is titled, “What is a STEM Education Worth?” It brings out some solid points considering the cost of a STEM degree and also gives some evidence on the value of a STEM position. I am not a big supporter of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, however, there does come a time when all of the time and effort spent gaining a STEM degree must mean something to companies that need people with a STEM background. The salaries are pretty impressive and if your child has a bent toward STEM, they will be generously rewarded. (At least the income helps fulfill the Safety aspect of Maslow’s needs.)
Quote for the Day: “All the technology in the world will never replace a positive attitude.” — Harvey Mackay