We previously published a post on a recent Lemelson-MIT survey (January 2010), and we wanted to revisit it today.
The Lemelson-MIT Invention Index is an annual survey that gauges Americans' perceptions about invention and innovation. As we mentioned in our last post, the results of this year's survey were impressive-- the index reported that 77% of teens are interested in pursuing STEM careers. According to the Index, hands-on activities outside the classroom are an effective way to engage teenage youth. Specifically, it reports, "Teens listed activities such as field trips to places where they can learn about STEM (66 percent) and access to places outside the classroom where they can build things and conduct experiments (53 percent) as the best ways to get them interested in these subjects." Another insight of the survey was the power of mentors in STEM education to increase youth interest. Students would like to know more about STEM in order to create and invent, and afterschool settings are ideal place to let youth explore and discover on their own. In informal environments, students can engage in STEM learning and meet active STEM professionals.
We are excited about these results and reinvigorated in our mission to make high-quality STEM learning opportunities available to all youth.