For the readers who have been to an RSA meeting of some kind or another you have heard of the STEM Program. Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you something you've already heard. However I would like to talk about why it is important for the kids.
When I was growing up there wasn't any push for a STEM based education. Most of the focus was on literature, vocabulary, and writing. Not that those are unimportant, but I feel my time would have been better spent in a physics class or a engineering class. I felt like the whole goal of the school system was to push me into college and that was all.
My senior year of high school I met my all time favorite teacher Mr. Smith. He saw the need for engineering and technology classes and made it happen. He bought a 3D printer and a subscription to a Computer Aided Design program called SolidWorks and got to work. His class quickly became my favorite. I spent the majority of my lunches in the computer lab designing a hydraulic crane to pick up ping pong balls. When that project was finished I was quite proud of what my partner and I had built. With his help, I was able to get an internship designing test equipment for researchers at Georgia Tech.
Mr. Smith encouraged me to join our schools robotics team. I had no idea we even had one, but I will always be thankful to have been a part of that team. I learned how to work with others in a more professional setting, and it gave me the opportunity to make friends with people who I normally wouldn't have interacted with. I was also given the opportunity to help build the middle school and elementary school robotics team. I hope that it is currently encouraging young kids to be excited about Science Technology Engineering and Math. Thank you Mr. Smith.
While the RSA's STEM program can be difficult to run, think about how it can encourage the children in your area to become scientists and engineers. You could be the Mr. Smith that those children need!