The Right Stuff
There is no better way to see science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in action than by watching students present to and teach other students. I saw this firsthand recently when I chaperoned Science and Engineering day with my daughter and her classmates. She’s in the STEM program at her middle school here in suburban Milwaukee.
Working in teams of four, the sixth-grade STEM students cycled into different fifth-grade classrooms, assigning them a design challenge. They supplied instructions, requirements, rules and materials, and set the students free to—in my daughter’s group’s case—find a way to prevent a water-filled plastic egg from cracking open when dropped from a raised elevation. My job was to keep the kids on track and prevent my daughter’s team from scarfing down all the candy they’d brought to reward the participants.
The first three classes saw various levels of success, but the fourth class—also students in the STEM program—created far-and-away better solutions. Every single team in the class succeeded in keeping their eggs from cracking.
Impressed, I said to my daughter, “Wow, that group did awesome.” Her matter-of-fact response: “That’s because they’re STEM kids.”
The underpinnings of a successful career are often born of education and experience combined with personality attributes. In this month’s issue of QP, focused on careers, "Passport to Success," looks at five attributes that have helped the author successfully navigate his career. In this case, these attributes can be developed and nurtured even if they weren’t always your personal strengths. Working on yourself is never a bad investment.
Editor in Chief and Publisher