By Sandy Haslem, P.E. Director, Nevada Industry Excellence Nevada System of Higher Education
Who will light the spark that propels you and your classmates out to the atmosphere like July firecrackers ready to create fantastic multi-colored lights glowing in all different directions?
When I think about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, an image of a firecracker and a extraordinary show comes to mind.
Why a firecracker and fireworks show? It comes down to what it takes to make an amazing and brilliant spectacle possible.
The package needs to be created – a compact powder of many colorful and diverse chemicals— you and your classmates
A propellant needs to be preset – your parents
A spark is needed to ignite the fuse – your teachers
A crowd of observers who enjoy and support the event need to pay the entry fee – employers who want your skills and customers who require your awesome work
Close your eyes and picture a firecracker that has been shot into the open night sky. With a loud crack, the beautiful colors shoot upward and outward in random, but distinct patterns. Like that firecracker, having a solid foundation in STEM skills will launch you into the world with a variety of fun and promising career opportunities.
However, that foundation requires a lot of different parts to be successful: you need to be interested in and open-minded about STEM, your parents need to support, guide and encourage you on your STEM path, your teachers must provide a spark to ignite your interest and keep it burning throughout your primary education, and finally, STEM employers must recognize your skills and provide you with job opportunities.
When you embrace STEM, your future possibilities are bright, varied and exciting. In fact, the sky is the limit!