As our society’s challenges grow more complex, the need for people who can come up with creative solutions continues to increase. It’s for this reason that job growth nationwide in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related fields continues to outpace all other sectors. In fact, according to the Education Commission of the States, between 2017 and 2027, STEM job growth is expected to increase by 13% and shows no signs of slowing down.
However, for some students — especially those who aren’t naturally inclined to embrace more technical subjects — the thought of a career in STEM can be intimidating. While the topic of students’ math and science anxiety is nothing new for parents and educators alike, recent research from the University of Chicago has found that this type of anxiety can lead to the avoidance of these subjects altogether.
Relatable STEM role models
Fortunately, there exist proven ways to reduce this anxiety. In fact, research from Opportunity Insights has found that when students are introduced to innovators at an early age, they are more likely to innovate in their adult lives. It’s for this reason that the National Inventors Hall of Fame® (NIHF) includes lessons and stories inspired by our world-changing Inductees in all of our education programs. Because we are able to draw inspiration from over 600 (and counting) diverse Inductees, students who participate in our programs can discover an innovation icon that will inspire them to continue innovating.
“Camp Invention® has positively impacted my child in many ways. For example, my son was not very interested in STEM until he attended Camp Invention. The camp instilled interest and creative ways to build different things and use imagination. He looked forward to attending camp every day and participating in each topic that was planned for each day. He made friends and used his brainpower in STEM.” — Kathleen S., Pennsylvania
Especially at an early age, students aren’t aware of the many different career paths available to them. Though occupations like “chemist,” “software developer” and “engineer” might readily come to mind when thinking about examples of STEM jobs, other careers like “zoologist,” “strength and conditioning coach” and even “video game designer” also fall under this category. Each year, when our expert education team creates the curriculum for our flagship summer program, Camp Invention, they intentionally design activities that relate to a wide range of careers. By opening children’s eyes to what’s possible, our programming provides participants with a goal to work toward.
"Our daughter came home from Camp Invention excited about science and math! She wanted to share her experience immediately and demonstrated a strong recollection of concepts presented. She added astronaut and math teacher to her list of future professions." — Franciso L., Texas
"Our daughter said that she has discovered her desired career path in marine biology through her Camp Invention experience!" — Steve B., Ohio
Learn more about how we promote STEM career exploration
At NIHF, we are committed to inspiring the next generation of innovators. Visit our website to learn more about how we champion the power of invention and introduce children to innovative role models.