Getting teens interested in STEM careers

WIFR

Presented by: ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- As technology is expanding into every aspect of our lives, available jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM fields, are expanding as well. It is projected that jobs will grow to over nine million by 2022 and wages in STEM jobs are much higher than those in non-STEM jobs. Parents can play a major role in getting teens interested in these high-demand careers.

Whether it’s a software developer, a scientist or a financial analyst, STEM workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the economy. A study by the University of Virginia found that parents can have an impact on the teen pursuing STEM careers up to five years after an initial conversation.

Parents in the study were given access to a website that explained the usefulness of STEM courses and provided tips on how to talk to their children about the importance of STEM. Amazingly, this simple experiment worked! Students took more high school STEM classes and, under their parent’s encouragement, their college prep tests improved by as much as 12 percent.

These students were also likely to take more STEM courses in college and have a greater interest in pursuing careers in STEM fields. Giving your teen the head start now makes for a brighter future later.

The United States is in need of more professionals trained in STEM fields. Currently it is lagging behind other countries in mathematics and science achievements, ranking 35th and 27th, respectively.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising; Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.