The challenges we face in the world today such as climate change, food security and sustainability have intensified the need to inspire the next generation of young people into the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. The solutions to these challenges will be realised over decades of research and execution. The awareness and interest of young people is therefore needed to sustain the pipeline of talent into STEM.
I got inspired to write this post because of some research I came across which was performed in 2019 by Engineering UK. It was reported that only 36% of 11-14 year olds in the UK say they know what to do next to become an engineer. This means they would be looking up to people in their sphere of influence for answers; teachers and parents and older friends and relatives. The research also pointed that only 32% of parents and 45% of STEM teachers feel confident in giving engineering careers advice.
A summary of the tips include;
- Promote curiosity: Don’t dismiss their numerous questions!
- Practical Examples: Turn your interactions with the many practical applications of STEM around us to opportunity to inspire them to solve challenges.
- Learning time is bonding time: Take the opportunity to bond with them as you both learn.
- Research STEM professionals’ journeys: These could be notable professionals in various industries or people in your network studying STEM courses or working in STEM careers.
- STEM Resources: There are a lot of resources online depending on the kind of learner your child is; videos, games, activities etc.
I hope you learnt a thing or two from this post.
Tell me, which tip resonated the most with you? What other ways have helped you inspire your kids/young people around you?