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"I'll never use this stuff when I grow up!"

I remember as a youngster saying to anyone who would listen "What good is learning all this stuff because I'll never use it when I grow up." There is no coincidence that even today my grandson is saying the same thing. So, I dove into the shallow waters and asked more. "What is it that you will not use?" To which he replied, "Everything". Hmmm.

I wondered what is it or why is it that education doesn't really focus on explaining future needs and the careers that rely on the what they are learning. A couple of things come to mind: 1. There is not enough time in the class-day so focus is solely on the lesson, 2. Familiarity with careers other than education - our educators have studied teaching education and rarely expanded their education beyond that, 3. bridging concepts can be difficult, not only for the student, but also for the teacher.

The concept of STEAM is to teach a broad interdisciplinary approach that engages the student at all levels - the sciences, literacy, math and social-emotional. Ideally, this is all wrapped up nicely and shows students how this applies to future careers. At the Progressive STEAM Initiative, we conduct classes at business owner's workplace. We tailor the lesson to that business and the careers of that business. In this way, the student is engaged in the lessoning and actually sees the end result. There are fewer questions about "What good is learning all this stuff...." and more of "Wow, your job is cool!".

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