As autumn approaches and everyone gets back into the education swing, the industry seems more keen than ever to encourage a STEM interest in students.
The hope is that these students will one day find their way into one form of manufacturing or another, and there has been plenty of focus on the Millennial ability to take over businesses when the Baby Boomers retire. However, we should also consider the generations that will come after them and the steps they have to take to be ready for the manufacturing industry.
Though they may be a few years out from even thinking about a career path, Generation Z will be the next generation in the workforce. So how can we show them the importance of manufacturing now?
STEM toys are great for teaching children how to find solutions to clear goals and fostering innovation from an early age. STEM-based toys can help children learn how to engineer, experiment, and explore the world around them. Classics like Legos and Airplane Models were STEM toys before being categorized as such, but new toys like these STEM dolls are introducing exciting new ways to play and learn at the same time. Any good STEM toy should have kids asking questions and staying curious, and these toys are a great place to start.
As kids grow older, playing often is not enough to keep them engaged. Immersion into hobbies and interest takes over, allowing activities they enjoy to have the potential of being a lifelong pursuit. STEM camps range in interest and experience spanning from kids to teens, to girls and co-ed. Even though the school year is beginning and this summer’s sessions are over, registration for 2016 sessions is right around the corner for others.
If STEM camps help immerse kids into the world of engineering, then formal classes will help hone the skills they have been building on since they received their first STEM toy. STEM education has been rising with each passing year, and with good reason. By 2018, nearly 8.65 million workers will be needed for STEM jobs with 600,000 needed in manufacturing alone. Education can begin as early as elementary school with the scientific method, to high school and completely dedicated tracks. Classes from algebra and physics to technical drawing and robotics can help students find the specific STEM field they can pursue a career in.
Internships are often the final hurtle before a commitment to studying a specific field in college. It’s where new generations find out if they're cut out for the job (literally). STEM internships have been booming, with plenty available to teens in fields like government and energy. Like the camps, many internships are summer programs, with registration opening up at the end of the year. But start pondering potential options now, because you never know where STEM will take you.
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