Technology has transformed the way we do almost everything. And yet, all too often, we resign kids to a use-only mode. Teaching students to create, rather than consume—to understand how technology works, not just how to use it—serves to strengthen a host of lifelong skills like logic, problem solving, creativity, and critical thinking. You see that kid playing on his computer? He may be the next Steve Jobs. And that teenage girl building a robot? She may discover a new advancement in biomedical engineering. But those possibilities may become realities only if we are able to help them connect the dots from playing with technology to using it to create something new to real world jobs.
Fortunately, there are a host of programs throughout San Antonio to help them on their way—from maker camps and free coding events to certification programs and boot camps to degree programs. All are outlined in the recently released San Antonio Technology Education Report, which was researched and developed by the 80/20 Foundation. “It’s our education system,” reads the report, “that allows a company to continue hiring talented individuals. The cities that produce high-skilled technology talent at the necessary magnitude for companies rise above the rest in building a vibrant, prosperous community in our modern economy.”
In fact, according to “The Hidden STEM Economy” by the Brookings Institution, “STEM-oriented metropolitan economies perform strongly on a wide range of economic indicators, from innovation to employment. Job growth, employment rates, patenting, wages and exports are all higher in more STEM-based economies.” So what are you waiting for? If you know a student, point them to one of the many fabulous camps, events, or classes. Don’t know a youngster? Then support their education—volunteer or donate to those who are working to build programs to fuel a STEM-based economy right here in our own backyard.