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THE SCIENCE DISPATCH

"When I Grow Up” – On the future of science learning

Think back to the first time you started a sentence with ‘When I grow up…’ It might have been a while ago, but most of us can conjure up vivid memories of childhood dreams.

Without predicting how drastically technology would shape every workplace, many of us imagined careers that related to STEM in some way. Whether it was launching into space as an astronaut; saving furry friends as a veterinarian; or designing beautiful buildings as an architect, our fantasy futures usually involved some element of science, technology, engineering or math.

Many of today’s youth arrive at school with their own high-tech digital devices and internet savvy. Surrounded by technology, Canadian childhoods are steeped in online spaces and digital media. On their way to becoming fluent in coding, and other complex digital concepts; today’s youth likely have skills many adults didn’t glean until their twenties (or much later!).

While many children have a head start with technology-enabled tools, it’s important to ensure youth use technology responsibly to find and evaluate information critically; connect and collaborate with others to solve problems; produce and share original content; and achieve their goals.

Reflecting on his own early career aspirations, Mo Amin, Amgen’s Global Health Economics Lead asserts: “Regardless of which field you pursue, critical thinking and problem solving will always be invaluable. These skills are used every day in the field of Health Economics, which applies the principles of economics to understand, study and assess the functioning of our healthcare system.”

We met some savvy students with STEM-career ambitions at MakerKids, and asked them about their future. The most interesting responses follow in a short video, which features moments captured in a few of the space’s many hands-on interactive workshops.

Press play to hear what these bright, enthusiastic kids say about science learning in today’s classrooms, and what they want to be when they grow up.