We entered the “why” phase in our household several months ago. Every parent that has or had a toddler, is familiar with this sometimes dreaded, exhausting phase. We try our best to embrace the curiosity. We want both our children to have the confidence to ask “why” as they grow older. The best of the best scientists and problem solvers ask “why”. If you have a child like this or if you are going through this phase, I highly suggest the book, “Ada Twist, Scientist” by Andrea Beaty (the other books in this collection are outstanding too).
This week, I’m going to touch on “why”. But not the “why” you are thinking of or how I framed this blog post… a different kind of “why”. Since I started this blog about a month ago, I’ve received a lot of really great positive feedback from so many of my amazing and supportive family and friends, several former co-workers and even total strangers. (Which, by the way, I’ve appreciated every single one – it’s the reason I’ve continued. So thank you for the support and for the shares!) But one common question I have received is, “why did you decide to do this?”.
Let’s travel back to the summer before my senior year in high school. At that time, I was narrowing in on universities and I was pretty sure that I wanted to major in journalism. I wrote for the newspaper of my high school, often wrote editorial comments to my local newspaper and I was even part of an Explorers program with one of the large local TV news stations in my hometown. I loved writing.
Then, my Dad (an engineer) approached me about a Summer Engineering Camp at my local university (now, my college alma mater) for high school girls. I really hadn’t considered engineering until then. And I honestly didn’t know what engineering was, so I decided to check it out. I LOVED it and that following week, I declared that I was going to major in engineering. Not only was it interesting but I truly felt that I could change the world. (And, in a small way, I was able to do that in my career before becoming a Mom.)
That one experience and decision has led me down so many wonderful paths in my life. I only wish that there had been more opportunities available to not just my parents but other parents to introduce these concepts sooner – especially to young girls.
My love for writing has always been there but the experiences of my life (many I didn’t even touch on here) are what led me to this. I feel that it is so important to introduce children to STEM careers and problem solving concepts early – while their curiosity is still high. This will in turn build their confidence later in school and in life. As parents, we are their first teachers. And more parents and caregivers should feel that they are also able to help their young kids – without always spending tons of money. And I know I’ve stressed young kids but if your children are older, it’s not too late to get them exposed either… I was a senior in high school!
I became an engineer because I wanted to change the world and help others. This is one way that I feel that I can do that with my background…
Who knows… maybe I’ll inspire the parents of the next doctor, nurse, astronaut, engineer, biologist, Nobel prize winner… ok, that might be stretching it… but you understand what I’m saying…
I don’t know where this blog will lead me in the future but I’m open to the possibilities!
I promise that next week, I’ll get back to more exciting STEM posts for you and your children. As always, all opinions in this post are my own.
Tell me about your experiences getting introduced to the STEM fields or tell me about struggles you might have introducing STEM to your kids in the comments below or at firstname.lastname@example.org!
7 thoughts on “My why…”
So interesting to hear your story and your why. Our niece is at Kent in a STEM field – industrial chemistry – a new from a pretty young age, maybe 12 or so that sciences were her thing. We’re excited to see what the future holds for her when she graduates next spring.
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Hearing that makes my heart happy! The fact that she knew so young is incredible! Congratulations to her on her upcoming graduation. No doubt she’s worked hard and her future is bright!
Hi Kristen! Love this post. Asking “why” builds our curiosity and helps us provide solutions to issues we observe. STEM careers are soooo important and even more vital that we introduce our children to the possibilities and that STEM can be fun!
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Srebrenica, I could not agree with you more!
Love this post and the topics you share! I’m a former engineer with 2 daughters and I definitely encourage them to learn how science and innovating can be fun. The statistics are scary when you see how many girls convince themselves at a young age that math and science are not for them.
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It is frightening… in order for anything to advance, it needs diversity. Thank you for reading my blog and your encouragement. If you would ever like to collaborate on a piece, please let me know! 🙂