On Wired's Geekmom blog, Rebecca Angel recapped her interview with Carlos Contreras, Intel's Education Director, about the state of STEM education in the US. Pointing out that American students have a long way to go when it comes to matching their international peers' performance on tests that require creative, complex thinking, Contreras feels that parents have a role to play in engaging young children in the kinds of activities that foster a spirit of inquiry. "Whatever the passion of the parent is, there is science behind it, whether it’s cooking or whatever hobby they are into," he said. "There is science there, and get your kids to experiment."
Encouraging students to explore science and work to find the solutions to the questions they have can be invaluable. Mentoring programs, like Project Engage in Massachusetts -- which arose out of a multi-faceted collaboration of professionals including representatives from Intel, MSSEF the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, and two public school districts -- can be instrumental in lighting the spark that could lead to a great STEM career.
Click here to read the entire interview with Carlos Contreras.