How STEAM is Teaching Young Builders

After Millennials became adults, they quickly learned how hard it is to actually get a decent job that paid enough to keep up with the debt they racked up to get those jobs. Ultimately, the jobs weren’t there and many of them wound up with massive amounts of student loan debt, all on the false hope they would be able to make a nice living for themselves after getting out of college.

Unfortunately, high schools across the country pushed this narrative and many young people have found themselves fighting a losing battle during a terrible economy. They now carry the most student loan debt of any generation. While we couldn’t help them then, we can help now!

Trade jobs are plentiful and absolutely essential to our economy. Plumbers, welders, construction workers, electricians and other similar jobs aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, and the truth is, they can pay handsomely! Construction pays an average of $15.00 an hour, with some salaries going up to as much as $33 per hour!

With these kinds of numbers, it’s no wonder that schools are now introducing more and more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) related teachings into their curriculum.

Teaching Kids with STEAM

A few years ago, we called it STEM, but now the newer version of these lessons integrate the arts into what the kids are learning. Why? Because not all kids learn the same way and integrating the arts helps them learn that STEM can apply to them, too.

An example is how bakers, a typically creative and artistic field, use mathematics and even chemistry to bake their fine desserts and breads. If you catch the attention of some of the most marginalized children with STEAM lessons, you create a more fully educational – and later on, career focused – experience.

As reported by The New York Academy of Science “although there are more STEM graduates than ever before, many STEM jobs go unfilled because of the lack of soft skills”. These are skills such as communication, leadership, and teamwork, all of which are a part of the arts and humanities included in STEAM projects.

Teaching More Kids How to Be Builders 

These marginalized groups of children, including young girls and young women, often don’t have the same opportunities or feel as though they have the same opportunities for work without some STEAM education. They may feel intimidated and feel as though they can’t join these sorts of careers.

By more women and others in these marginalized groups joining the workforce and becoming math and science teachers, construction workers, engineers and the like, kids can see themselves in those same roles, increasing the likelihood they will join those industries.

How can we help make that happen? Get more women into industries like construction. Create opportunities for students to learn more about these careers with more STEAM education in schools, beginning as soon as possible.

Benefits of STEAM education:

  • Learning problem solving skills
  • Learning teamwork
  • Learning communication skills
  • Learning more about leadership
  • Preparing students for the future
  • Preparing more students for real life careers
  • Encouraging students to develop new skills

How Can We Get More Women In Construction?

It seems obvious, however, teaching young girls about the opportunities that exist in industries like these, will help us decrease the gender gap in the same places. Women only make up 28% of professionals in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) industries.

Construction is more than just project management and administration for women in the field these days. Women working in construction can enjoy other positions such as engineering, design, heavy machine operations and so much more. The first of these depend heavily on arts and math lessons that can be easily taught in STEAM classes.

By now, you can probably see how easily teaching our children STEAM can directly benefit them as they grow up. So why not encourage them to look into careers in the construction industry as they get older? 

If you’re already sold on this whole idea, wonder what else it takes to get more people into the construction workforce, let’s look!

What Kind of Education Do You Need to Get Into Construction?

A high school diploma. That’s all it takes to get into construction at the entry level. Many construction jobs will have on the job training.

This means that for as much effort as it takes to earn minimum wage at your local fast food restaurant, you can easily get a higher paying job with more earning potential and professional development.

The Importance of Job Training vs Traditional College

This is becoming an age-old question. Should someone go to college or go get their degree? While many people stand on both sides of the answer, on the job training is certainly a good option for those that may not wish to, or cannot get funding for college programs.

Those that choose job training while starting their career path can expect to learn how their industry really works, in real life. There are no hypotheticals. While some people may have an “idea”, people that actually work in the construction industry will still have a better understanding of the ins and outs.

Of course, people that choose college degrees may have some better knowledge of specialized jobs within the industry, decreasing their learning curve some. Though it does seem that employers are looking to train their own employees more and more in order to have the workforce they want, versus hiring someone who has been to college.

Since each employer can expect or desire different aspects in an employee, this can be an advantage to someone looking to get straight to work.

So when you’re teaching your kids about the different kinds of jobs that are available, don’t forget construction! Start them young and they could grow up ready to create a fantastic career!

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