As our world continues to become even more technologically driven, it is critically important that students are being given the opportunity to learn and explore STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).
According to Dell Technologies and the IFTF, many of the tasks and duties of the jobs that today's young people will hold in 2030 don't exist right now. To provide insight for students, teachers, and families about the many ways young learners can invest in their STEM future, we sat down with Scholastic Lead Game Developer, Nelson Scott, to discuss tips on encouraging the next generation of STEM professionals to dream big.
In his role, Nelson works to complement many educational materials within Scholastic Magazines+, including Scholastic SuperSTEM, a print and digital resource that strengthens STEM skills and supports growth in literacy and classroom engagement.
Read on below for a few pointers on how students can spark their curiosities and invest in their STEM journey today!
- How can kids start developing their STEM awareness?
- Be curious! Resources are everywhere. There are many free and easy-to-access ways to build your knowledge of STEM such as the internet, public libraries, online databases for research, and extra-curricular programs such as robotics, for specialized learning. Also, your school may have tools like Scholastic SuperSTEM, which offers an interdisciplinary approach to building contextual knowledge, skills, vocabulary, and more.
- Whether it’s your teacher or a local STEM professional, there are many experts who would be happy to talk to you about their career journeys and share advice that they have collected.
- What is one simple way students can learn more about current STEM happenings?
- Pay attention to the world around you and be inspired by real world examples. Research and follow your interests as you develop your passions. Regardless of age or experience, you can achieve what you set your mind to in a STEM field.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You can learn a lot by observing the many talented people driving innovation around you – anything that sparks your curiosity is worth a second glance and exploring further, you never know what you might find on the other side.
- What is one piece of advice you would like to share?
- Don’t be afraid to fail. Practicing a growth mindset when making mistakes is a crucial practice in any STEM field. Failure will always be an integral part of any process that requires exploration or adaptability, and sometimes you have to be okay with solutions that don’t always work. It could take many failures until you reach success, but once your vision aligns with your execution, the results will make it all worth it.
- Own your work. When something doesn’t go the way you planned, retry the problem from a different angle. Stay patient and you’ll grow in ways you never thought possible.
- What is a soft skill students can start practicing to prepare for a STEM career?
- One of the most important things to remember in any career is to be kind. Strive to celebrate others’ successes. Showing support for your peers fosters an environment of cooperation and support that is foundational to any individual or team success.
- Whoever you end up working with, always try to be the type of person who will support other people – if you were in their position, you’d want someone to support you and nurture your curiosity.
- Additionally, learning the basics of logical problem solving or programming will develop your technical skills and can be applicable to many future STEM career paths. I developed soft programming skills at a young age because of my interest in video games!
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