The Museum of Science and Industry has begun teaching classes to middle school instructors in an attempt to increase STEM interest in children.
Hopefully the efforts will encourage young students to broaden their minds to the possibilities in the STEM fields. Perhaps more educated teachers will reflect knowledgeably on their students.
The next five years will be devoted to teaching more than 1,000 classes to instructors in the Chicago area. Over 800 teachers have taken courses at the museum thus far.
Mathematics and sciences are usually portrayed in poor lighting in media outlets like film, books and television shows. This universal distaste for STEM fields displayed in media filters into children's minds and gives them a sour view of math, science and engineering. Technology, which is only just beginning to be taught in schools the past few decades, seems to be more attractive.
Technology has a greater appeal above the other STEM fields because it is relatable. Most young students are using computers and smart phones that require knowledge of how technology functions. Many students have a greater understanding of these applications than older generations because they grew up adjusting their settings on the iPhone, editing code on their Tumblr or manipulating photoshop to put a filter on their selfies. Adults never had the chance to ease into technology; it was thrust upon them just like color TV.
Graphic design ties technology with the arts, which is widely appealing to creative students because there are more opportunities in that field than other artistic endeavors. Universities usually encompass a wide range of courses in multiple areas of study, but perhaps we need to start teaching these fields earlier.
The Museum of Science and Industry's classes will help teachers incorporate STEM into their classrooms early to interest children in the future of our society.
To read the Chicago Tribune's article on this subject, click here.