Calling All Kids! Girls and Boys! What is a STEM Career? Read On! It May Be An Opportunity That Knocks But Once...

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Whittier_Young“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.”

- John Greenleaf Whittier-

No, today we don’t use pens very often. Many of us text instead. But poet Whittier’s timeless words above still stand true. Who wants to miss a great opportunity in life?

Have you looked at your crystal ball lately, or checked your horoscope, or read your palm to see what lies ahead for you?  Well, here’s a tip: Don’t bother! You’ll learn a lot more about your path in life if you take charge of looking around you right now. Take a career in STEM for instance.

images-2STEM careers require a study of and a competency in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Yes, it’s true those are not easy subjects to learn for most students. But they can be fun…and promising, too!

If more young students worked a little harder, and started a little sooner, they too might have more promising opportunities to choose from.

imagesNot all STEM careers require a high level of academic excellence in every STEM topic. There are career positions available as lab assistants, data entry specialists, field workers, graphic designers, media specialists….you name it. Look at the graphic on the right.

So, you ask, where can I go to find out more? Here are some resources worth checking:

  • Talk to your teachers, see if there’s a vocational counselor in your school, contact your local science museum.
  • Talk with your school librarian.  The library may have some useful books on this topic.
  • Ask your teacher to invite guest speakers who work in the STEM world.
  • Include college professors and college/vocational students (some of whom are ony a few years older than you are!!!) to come and speak with you and others who have interest in knowing more.

Whether it’s taking more math and science in school now, or enrolling in post-high school vocational training for STEM, or going for a college degree in that area, your efforts can lead to a satisfying, well-paying career for both women and men. Those who are trained in STEM will work with real-world issues that make a difference. Plus, there are an abundance of well-paying jobs that need to be filled. And more will be coming.

images-1It’s important to remember you have choices you can make in your life. Usually, the earlier you make informed decisions about careers, the easier it is to reach your goals.  Even elementary school is not too early to begin thinking about what you want to do with your life.  By the time you get to middle school and high school, it’s even more important to think about your options and what you want to do.

One indicator for many of us is what we like to do is often what we are best at. So, pick a career that gets you up wanting to go to work each morning, one where you feel you are making a contribution, and growing professionally at the same time. If you have a career you like, as an old saying goes, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.

We all come to turning points in our lives, a place where we are faced with a choice about our future, and have to make a decision. What to do?  Don’t get left wondering! Get ready! Get informed!

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog interview of someone who chose STEM!


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Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.