As the daughter of immigrants and an immigrant myself, my parents instilled in us how important education was in our lives.  How else would we be able to get a decent job? My parents worked their fingers to the bone and never complained. As a mother, I have made it a point to teach my children to work hard and follow their dreams.

My son, Connor is about to embark on a STEM adventure. Connor is a typical fifth grader who has a very curious mind and loves reverse engineering something to come up with solutions. If you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, his answer is “a scientist or doctor.” He plans on finding a cure for Autism, since his little brother is Autistic. Last year for his science project, Connor chose the “Benefits of MAGLEV Trains.” He wanted to show how most conventional trains aren’t efficient nor environmentally friendly.  He often shows ingenuity when it comes to making our world a better place.

Connor’s work ethic and his grades have made him eligible to apply to his Middle School’s Magnet Program. This opportunity is for students like Connor to explore science, technology, engineering and math in an interdisciplinary setting that is taught differently from the traditional school curriculum. When we received an invitation to apply, we didn’t hesitate to choose the STEM option.

I believe STEM programs are incredibly important as they foster innovation and science literacy. STEM allows our kids to feel good about being smart. According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8%.  It is clear that most jobs of the future will require a basic understanding of math and science. These just happen to be two of Connor’s favorite subjects.  His future is bright and full of possibilities and STEM will be a huge contributor.