I am not really that sure how to comment on what this all means (and I apologize for the lateness of this blog on a M0nday night in the U.S.). But I am fascinated about the concept of having child White House Science Advisors, particularly since the one recommended by President Obama was fortunate enough to have an iPad in his hands as a toddler. As an adolescent, he has now been successful in making toys and miniatures on his 3-D printer.
What’s not to like about all this? Mostly, there is a lot to like, and this story should be an inspiration to us all. But why do STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) success in the early academic grades warrant a presumption of better preparation for livelihood in the twenty-first century? Some might say that we are limiting our children’s futures with such early predeterminations. And as a parent in the end of the last century and now a grandparent in the current one, I continue to believe that all of our current school-age students will probably need some facility in STEM subjects, and many others as well. I think the real challenge is to prepare these students to be much broader and curious learners. The world is changing much too quickly.
Our children need to feel that they contribute in many varied and meaningful ways. STEM subjects may be the routes for many bright students, but there are also many other avenues for future learning and success in this century.