80% of Jobs in Next Decade will Require STEM Skills

Promoting STEM Education is one of the core missions of the Google Lunar X PRIZE, and after reading a recent article written by Sally Ride, I am even more convinced that we need to do more to promote this mission. Published in the USA Weekend, 80% of jobs in the next decade will require skills in math, science and technology. This is a very high statistic and is extremely important to start talking about with our children today. Studies show that youngsters naturally like science, but they drift away in late elementary/junior high school because they get signals that science is dull or maybe too difficult. Ride mentions that there are four things we can do to change this notion.

1. Watch what you say. Saying things like, “I was never really good at science” can impact kids to think that they aren’t good either and is an easy excuse to give up.

2. Encourage and reward. Reward kids for good grades on math tests like you would for winning sports achievements.

3. Take a weekend trip. Visit museums, planetariums and science labs.

4. Stay current. Talk about what life could be like if we didn’t have science. You don’t want to scare them, but be honest about your concerns.

So, are there things you can do right now to get children involved? Here are a few X PRIZE related subjects:

* Global Innovation Award. Maybe your child isn’t involved in FIRST LEGO League, but that shouldn’t stop them from going on line and reading about kid’s ideas for future inventions. They can even vote daily for their favorite invention.

* Engineering Week is February 21-25. Talk to a child about the engineering field. Have them meet an engineer and have them learn about the engineer's job. The child will learn how engineers are improving the world and better yet, why the career is fun!

* Stay current! There are many exciting things happening in the Space Community. Just yesterday, one of our Google Lunar X PRIZE teams-Team Astrobotic announced that they are taking a ride on the SPACE X Faclcon 9 Rocket to land a robot on the moon. Pretty cool stuff!

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