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Survey Reveals Ways to Enhance Teens' Interest in STEM


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teen students

Credit: City of Paso Robles, CA

A recent Lemelson-MIT Invention Index survey found that teens are enthusiastic about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), with 77 percent interested in pursuing a career in those fields. The survey found that hands-on activities outside the classroom are some of the most effective ways to engage youth ages 12 through 17. Teens listed activities such as field trips and places outside the classroom where they can go to build things and do experiments as the best ways to garner interest in STEM subjects.

Two-thirds of teens chose hands-on projects as the type of classroom-based educational method they enjoy most. "Increasing teens' exposure to STEM through hands-on activities will result in a more positive perception of these important subjects," says Lemelson-MIT's Leigh Estabrooks.

More than half of teens would be more interested in STEM simply by having teachers who enjoy the subjects themselves. The Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam initiative is one way teens can get direct access to hands-on learning with STEM professionals. InvenTeams are teams of high school students, teachers, and professionals that receive grants to invent solutions to real-world problems.

From Lemelson-MIT Program
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