Parents Does Your Child Have a STEM To Stand On?
William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College
Educational Technology / Social Media / STEM
Parents sometimes have no clue as to the changes that are ongoing
in education. When asking parents what does STEM mean you may
get a combination of stares, questioned looks, a few honest inquires
or just self-admitted ignorance. The parents that do know what
STEM/STEAM is they are happy to tell you that their children are
being prepared for careers that are not even developed yet. Their
children will be problem solvers, content creators, thought leaders,
e-learning leaders and a host of other excited labels that parents
are proud to throw out about their children.
The value and importance of education is seen more in the
employment of those with key skill sets that employers are
looking for after graduating either from high school or
higher education. This opens doors to seeing the wonderful
future an education can bring. The realization sometimes
comes too late for students that mistakes can have dire
consequences, missed opportunities for careers and even under
employment or unemployment. High school students in Duval
County Public Schools can no longer play around and killing time
thinking that they will catch up later on tests, projects and
Learning is continuous and purposeful and staying on task is
important. The future of college, military service, vocational
schools, medical careers and even aspirations of being a gaming
wizard require good academic foundation, not being lazy,
complacent and ignorant to the wisdom of parents and
teachers to get busy and do what needs to be done to secure
The opportunities that students have today are light years
past the educational opportunities and resources of schools
just 5 to 10 years ago. Education is focusing on critical thinking,
complex understanding of how and why things work, the
connections between technological, biomedical and engineering
issues that make life easier. The other connection is solving
complex issues that can be local in nature and global in complexity.
Even at Cecil Airfield corporations are global and sometimes
even local students do not qualify to clean the restrooms of
these buildings. Look at the academic qualifications alone and the
degrees, certifications and experiences needed just for entry
level positions and how STEAM and STEM is vital.
The availability of manual labor jobs is disappearing, even if
manual jobs are found their value in pay is extremely limited because
the work involved sometimes does not equal to the work
required. The lack of education creates too many situations of
families living in poverty and further erodes the self-confidence
of parents taking care of children who are caught in generational
situations of poverty, low educational value and relying on
governmental help. When looking at the growth of STEM, STEAM
and STREAM global commerce influences career availability and
choices for growth and success.
Proud STEAM students receiving awards from class projects.
Elementary School provides a foundation for STEAM learning.
Recognizing the critical need for students to be prepared,
Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, sees the important of
a quality education and being “career ready.” Parents may
protest and complain, but they are not seeing the big picture. If
or when their children leave Jacksonville or the South they will
be competing with global students that have far greater exposure
and skills, they will witness the integration of technologies that
I blog about and STEM/STEAM teachers even in elementary
school are working hard to prepare students to have the
necessary skills to be employed and not have to come back home
to live with their parents.
Before parents complain think about if or when your child leaves
Jacksonville, Florida what have you as a parent done to prepare your
child for success?
Have you taken them to the libraries to encourage reading, have you
taken them to the museums for increased educational exposure,
have you as a parent visited their school to make sure from elementary
to high school your child understands the value of education not just
because parents say they “have to” go to school, students must take
ownership, accountability and responsibility for “their” learning not
because their parents threaten them or even reward them.
The importance of STEM careers is dependent on the exposure to
educational resources, placing the value that is deserved in learning
critical thinking skills, exposure to higher order thinking in problem
solving, working together in teams on collaborative projects and even
hands on projects that take students out of their comfort zones
requiring them to think outside the boxes of their environments.
My elementary school will be a STEM2 (squared) a Medical Magnet
because even at the elementary level students are thinking about
careers and heading in the right directions for success. If parents
want to complain about this is too early for students look at the
students they will be competing against coming from Japan,
China, India, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, the Middle East
and the refugees that are begging to get to this nation to
have their children educated in a system too many complain
about, but is still one of the best in the world. Parents cannot
complain when a Syrian refugee obtains a high school
diploma then gains entrance to college, their child was
born and raised here but struggling still with reading.
The curriculum is the same for everyone.
In order for our schools to educate students to be leaders, the
schools must be transformative and change the paradigm of
teaching, educating, and preparing students. If there is no
change then students will be unprepared, under-employed,
or unemployable and be a burden to the economy of this and
other communities. Parents need to understand that there
is not a “perfect” educational system, involved and active
parents make education a priority in their homes, in their
communities, and in their cities.
Taylor Richardson, student in DCPS
“An Agent of STEM”
Parents Do You Have a STEM To Stand On: means for
parents is your kid ready to be a global learner, a thought
leader, an influencer, a content creator in a world of global
commerce and competition?
Can they read with comprehension, write with meaning and
accomplish basic mathematics skills?
Do they know what the value of:
Computers Science Technology Reading Engineering Arts Mathematics
Medicine really means? CSTREAM2 (squared)
Black Male Explorers – Edward Waters College – Jacksonville, Florida
“Agents of STEAM” Summer Program
Instructor William Jackson