Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Lessons Learned
by Jim LaBuda
Interim Dean of Education
Nevada State College

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - The Future

I walked by our family room after Christmas and my son was playing on his new iPad. I was pleased he was thrilled with the gift. Though as the day progressed, I passed by the family room several times. Each time

he was still in the same position on the couch and still focused on the iPad. At the time, I thought he should be outside enjoying the above average temperatures.

However, I was pleased that he was enthralled with the iPad. Even as he built his collection of silly apps, he certainly was gaining experience with current technology. He was motivated to explore, and certainly learned, the more time he spent with the device. Yes, I wished at times he would be outside but I took consolation in the fact he was learning and excited about it.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) fields are the career options for the future. They are the fastest growing occupations and tend to have above average salaries. Recently, the lieutenant governor of California reported that 2 million people in his state were out of work, yet there were 500,000 unfilled jobs – most of them in the STEM fields. If you search most online job postings, you will see that STEM training is essential for many vacant jobs.

Encourage your children at a young age to enjoy science and technology. Encourage them to build, create and explore. Their world in the future will be integrated with technology beyond what we recognize today. They must develop an interest early in the STEM subject areas and select appropriate courses in middle school and high school. There will be initiatives in the future to encourage students to select career paths in these areas but the interest must be developed early.

So as I find my son on the couch, again. Even with knowing the need to promote his interest in technology, I can’t resist saying – “There are only 365 days in a year and you just wasted one.” He promptly replied, “It’s leap year – still have 365 days to do everything else.”

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