Science careers are more fun than ever before—according to the growing number of awesome STEM education for kids events that are sprouting up across the country. STEM—the acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—is a rapidly growing path for the next generation.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that close to 1.2 million jobs related to STEM will burgeon in the next couple of years. What’s more, it now appears that girls are being just as encouraged as boys to take the leap into the historically male-dominated space.
Case in point: This spring, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science held its second annual gathering of Girls & Science, a day-long program that invites girls between the ages of three and 18 to meet with women that are in careers related to science, technology, engineering, art and math: a STEAM event, which adds a creative twist by showing girls careers that are creative and scientific.
Girls were able to meet professionals like research ecologist Jenny Briggs, an employee at the U.S Geological Survey, Brenn Wheeler who works for AlloSource and Donor Alliance processing tissue for surgical grafts, and Karen Kosiba, an atmospheric scientist that for the Center for Severe Weather Research.
“The reason I wanted to pursue a career in STEM is because I always had a real fascination with the world around me—with weather and planting things and building things,” Kosiba said in an interview with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Throughout the day, the girls and mentors spend time playing in “clubhouses,” where they engage in activities like exploring a weather lab or examining medical images, so they get a taste of what a career in a certain field is actually like. That’s why programs like this are important: there are innumerable careers to choose from that kids might not even know exist yet, including many unique paths that use science in unexpected ways—like art conservationists and theater set designers.
Internships, camps, and events related to STEM careers are all over the U.S., which helps to open kids’ minds to the array of STEM careers that they could choose, and even help kids test the waters.
For instance, the National Cancer Institute in Maryland offers a student internship program that focuses on research and administrative management for high school seniors. In the Phoenix area, a called CompuGirls provides under-resourced girls with afterschool and summertime programs, during which they learn about the latest digital media technologies and game development.
Another company called iD Tech creates summer day camps and overnight camps for kids (ages 6-12) and teens (ages 13-18) that are held at more than 150 educational campuses all over the U.S. The lineup of options includes interesting camps related to programming, game design, robotics, leadership and more.
No wonder the importance of STEM education for kids is on the rise.
It even makes us want to be a kid and go to summer camp all over again. Instead, we are getting involved by hosting our own STEM tours for kids: visit the #FutureGKEngineer to learn more about how GK is fostering STEM education for kids!