I think it’s great that students today have so much access to technology in the classroom. I remember being in grade school and desiring to be able to work on hands on projects that my teachers had hidden in a closet but never took out because they didn’t know how to “teach” us. Growing up, I don’t remember there being such an emphasis on STEM. I was good at math and my teachers acknowledged this, but they never helped inspire me to become the engineer I am today. With that said, I did have a couple of GREAT teachers that did inspire to become an engineer, but it wasn’t because they were focused on preaching the art of STEM. They were just great teachers that had my best interests in mind.
My belief is that while it is great that schools across the country are preaching the awesomeness that is STEM, it is difficult for teachers to truly inspire their students when their own passion isn’t STEM. I’ve experienced this firsthand working with various teachers throughout my local school districts. While I really appreciate the hard work teachers today are doing, I think there is a missing link. I think that it would be more effective to get people that are actually in STEM to go an inspire students to pursue careers in STEM.
I’ve actually tried to move forward with this idea but I’ve encountered quite a few roadblocks along the way. First, it’s amazing how resistant teachers and schools are when volunteers want to visit their schools and talk to their students. I’ve personally have tried to go to the schools that I attended in the past and have realized that my former teachers don’t really want to change their schedule to accommodate a guest speaker. I’ve also offered to help them create projects but have also noticed that there is an extreme lack of motivation on both ends.
I’m really not sure what the solution is to my proposed theory is. I know that I believe that engineers and other STEM professionals should have a greater role in how STEM is taught to students across the country. I think its great that teachers are willing to go above and beyond their call of duty to evangelize STEM, but I think it is much more effective when the CEO of Microsoft visits a school to talk about STEM careers.
Maybe it’s just me. . . . maybe I need to go and get more information. But I’m posting this hoping to get some traction going in the comments section. My plan is to basically develop my own STEM Youtube channel where I can reach students everywhere.