They Have to See It To Be It!

Jun 25, 2012   //   by Pamela Greyer   //   Latest Buzz, NASA, The Launch Pad  //  No Comments

Source: via Pamela on Pinterest

Working with the students at Corliss High School this year has been a truly wonderful experience. Located not far from Chicago Public School’s Fenger Academy, the once home of my NASA K-12 program, the Corliss students are faced with similar academic and social issues as most of the students who attend some of our academically challenged neighborhood schools. As we look at solutions to ensure all of our students get a quality education that includes rigor and offers opportunities to develop future career skills through engaging, hands-on projects and competitions. While talking to a colleague at Corliss, our conversation turned to a philosophy that I have believed in for many years as an educator. For our children to dream to become a computer programmer, astronaut, engineer, systems analyst, web designer, and all of the other STEM careers that are and yet to be available for them to purse, they have to see people who look like them, have shared similar experiences, and can be honest in explaining that STEM is rewarding but comes with hard work and perseverance.

This is why all of us who work to increase the number of historically underrepresented and underserved populations in STEM have to have a personal, vested interest in our young people and be willing to give back. That give back doesn’t have to be in tangible dollars and often becoming a mentor or volunteer with a STEM program can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. The NASA Great Moonbuggy Race was my latest endeavor and one of my most challenging but the students at Corliss stepped up to the plate and tackled the task. As I prepare for the 2013 competition, I am looking to bring more young STEM professionals to become part of my STEM efforts so the students understand that it is not an impossible dream. NASA did a feature story on me and my students and I am extending an invitation to those STEM folks out there to please join me in inspiring our young people in the upcoming 2012-2013 school year.

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