Deeper than the STEM career crisis
There is a shortage of individuals skilled in the technical STEM careers, but the challenge goes deeper than that. Most individuals have a seed planted within them which develops into a life-long passion. Some have musical abilities or athletics, and parents foster these “seeds”. How do we foster the development of curiosity, the “how does this thing work?” or the puzzle solver, creator, inventor? Not hard to venture a guess that more is required to nurture those embedded kernels. One of our favorite quotes from our Director of Innovation, Danny Kim, is “In the areas of Arts and Athletics, there are natural-built paths for young children to develop. When it comes to science, technology, and engineering, the frontier of space exploration can be the way in.”
As STEM educations supporters, we have a desire to inspire the scientist and engineer at a young age. We are excited “nerd” now is uttered as a compliment. At this point in time, one may reach the confident “nerd” who is willing to seek out preferred activities. What of the shy ones, the unknowing, those without a mentor? Unfortunately, this often equates to minorities, the girls, the low socio-economic youth. Lacking confidence and self-esteem, these need an adult support system to build them up.
Using the outer reaches
How about making it cool?
How about making it bigger than almost anything on this Earth?
How about taking it off this Earth?
How about the International Space Station?
We have found that Pride, Excitement, and Motivation go hand-in-hand with activities related to the International Space Station.
See for yourself
Take a minute to watch videos of two less-than-privileged students having gone through the Quest for Space ISS Stem Experiment Platform program.
What experience tells us
Students become receptive to learning and find they “can do it”. They complete the program with a new outlook on STEM and a belief they can reach higher.
What do they need? They need a reassuring someone to walk alongside them for a period of time. Science investigation is exhausting. Who wants to go it alone? There is trial and error, failures, revisions, etc. This program is organized to incorporate team structures, modeled after NASA tradition. Everyone has a role and that role is important.
The International Space Station pulls them in. The magic of the International Space Station keeps them engaged until they realize STEM can be fun. And most assuredly, they realize they enjoy it. Just maybe it nurtures a blossoming passion.
Give it a try – STEM education through Space Exploration.