STEM isn’t just part of a plant.
STEM is part of the alphabet soup of acronyms that you will hear, if you haven’t already, as your child works his or her way through school. Even President Obama is talking about it, after he announced earlier that he plans on creating a Master Teacher Corps of elite educators to help encourage students in STEM classes.
As we look to our children’s future, it’s becoming clearer that a large part of it lies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It’s our job as parents and as adults to keep encouraging them toward STEM education, if they’re interested, because they’re the next generation of leaders.
At Children’s National, we’re trying to do our part to help because we use STEM every day. It’s the science that helps us understand disease and how to treat it. It’s engineering that helps build technology that can do things like measure pain or help a surgeon perform a minimally invasive procedure. Last but certainly not least, math is vital for everything in healthcare, like knowing how much medication a child should take based on their weight. So, whether they come through our doors or not, we’re fully committed to ensuring a bright and healthy future for all kids.
To that end we’re trying to host fun activities to help kids understand some of the real world applications of STEM. Through our partnership with the National Institutes of Health and the National Children’s Museum, we took part in the USA Science and Engineering Festival in May. Whether they got to blow up a pig lung to see how the air pathway works or check out the insides of a knee, all of the kids, and even some adults, got to let their geek flags fly!
And as an adult, you know there is nothing more thrilling than seeing a teenager’s eyes light up with excitement and interest. Just imagine that look as they concentrate on practicing minimally invasive surgery using surgical tools and a video monitor. Maybe someday it will be your child or teenager will scrub in and perform surgery on someone who needs help. We hope so.