As reliance on technology increases, it is important for us to try and engage the interest of the next generation to train in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.
If the rate of students opting for technical training continues to decline -- as the current rates of computer science graduates in the U.S. suggest -- then it may impact the future of technological innovation, the job market, and therefore the economy.
This week, middle school students from Aurora, Illinois, were visited by a software engineer in an attempt to reaffirm the message.
The eighth-graders were told about what it is like to enter one of the most rapidly-growing industries in the West, which consistently is creating jobs in a fragile economy. The engineer, Jessie Chavez, visited Granger Middle School, East Aurora Magnet Academy and Washington Middle School to explain how it is possible to enter the technological field and eventually work for one of the most well-known Internet companies.
Studying technology-related subjects may be stereotypically associated with geeky people, glasses and men -- but times are changing. It still might not be the most popular subject to take on at university, or one that everyone is suited for, but it can offer financial dividends and job security.
For high school children, this isn't necessarily the first thing on their minds. However, appealing to children through world travel, the famous bouncy balls in Google headquarters and Google's Sky project were also part of the engineer's presentation. He said:
"You might think that wanting to work in sports you’d have nothing to do with computers.
Wrong. These days, if you want to be a top athlete (and) work on your swing, you’re keeping track of your form, your position, your strength, the muscles you're using -- all of that is computer generated."
Google's education outreach program has recently given support to Aurora University’s STEM Academy partnership -- comprising of four school districts -- as part of its continual effort to entice the next generation to becoming trained and fill vacancies as Internet businesses expand.