I'd evoke some lyrics about the man in the mirror, but I really don't want to be stuck on that song. Oh. Too late.
OK, but here's the point: We talk about the education system, and whether or not it's doing its job to get more kids developed for STEM careers. But what do we do to help get them there? Many are involved in FIRST programs, and that's great. But what else?
Control reader George Buckbee recommends getting involved with your local Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, acting as a counselor for engineering- or science-related badges. He says he did just that for Boy Scouts, and it took him about 45 minutes a week for five weeks. Not too much of a commitment for a chance to shape young minds.
In Illinois, it was a Girl Scout troop that won the latest FIRST Lego League state competition. But in my daughter's troop in Northwest Indiana, there is scant mention of science or technology (although they are working on a light pollution project now, exploring the night sky). So what's the difference? My guess is just one volunteer!
So think about what group you might want to be involved with--whether it's your own kid's or somebody else's--and get out there and volunteer a little time.
Besides FIRST and Scouts, what other ideas do you have? Any projects that you've been involved in already? I've gone into my kids' classrooms to teach Music in Action, Art in Action, and Junior Achievement. Are there any such program for STEM subjects?