Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are not as popular in Europe with school-age students as they once were. That’s a concern for Europe as a whole – but it should be a concern for parents, too. Why? Because any future skills shortage will affect both the economy and the individual worker.
Pretty much everything, from the laptop or tablet or PC you’re reading this on and the software that runs it, to the paint or wallpaper on the walls, the fibres your clothes are made of and even the food you serve the family pet, is at least in part available due to the efforts of scientists, researchers, engineers and technicians who all have STEM skills.
Without enough of these people, the economy just won’t function as well as it could. And according to many studies, that’s exactly what Europe is facing. Falling numbers of graduates with STEM qualifications plus the imminent retirement of STEM specialists means that there are big shortages on the horizon.
This short booklet tries to help you as a parent to encourage the STEM talent in your child or children, to suggest ways to maximise their interests in the subjects and – hopefully – to improve their chances of obtaining STEM qualifications, which could lead to a STEM-related career.
What this booklet is not here to do is try and cajole you or your offspring into taking up a career that they have no interest in or aptitude for. We feel that many children are not so much ignoring STEM, they are simply unaware of the possibilities studying those subjects has to offer. Further, we believe that the vast majority of children can find STEM-related topics stimulating and useful, and that an inquiring, scientific mindset is an asset in any occupation, even if a final career in STEM is not for everyone.
Read the Parents' guide online