Kelly and I, along with long time colleagues and friends, Karen and Jeffrey Pearl, co-founded a Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) company in 2006…we launched when VoIP was very new and completely unrecognized as a business and cost advantage. We built the company for 6 years, made the Inc500 list 2 years, in the top 10 ‘Best Companies to Work’ for 4 years, and ultimately Denver’s ‘Fastest Growing Company’ in 2010.
I’ve always admired and appreciated how involved Kelly was with the schools that Evan and Christopher attended – she was on every PTO, every committee, and started more programs, enrichments and fundraisers than I can even count. I’m proud of her.
But no matter what school our kids go to – public, private, charter, at-home – they will always be taught ‘day-old’ technology because the pace of change in technology moves light years faster than any school system.
Our STEM challenge is real and it is now. Do not lull yourself into thinking that because your kiddo is going to a STEM school that it is somehow adequate.
Here are the facts on how Colorado compares to all 50 status in a recent report from Great Education Colorado:
Ahmed Mohamed got in big trouble for bringing a homemade clock to school. Ignorance is all around us on this one! While the teacher did the right thing to notify the authorities in the spirit of protecting our kids, the reality is that the confusion between a clock and a bomb is truly symbolic of our STEM challenge. We are out of time!
BTW – I’m collaborating with my good friend Bob Smith to build a larger scale GPS Arduino-based clock to have on display in the Makers Lab.
As Kelly and I carefully step over demo debris as we walk through what will be the workspace one day (buildout is at a standstill due to zoning requirements), I’m simultaneously questioning and reminding myself why we are launching Silicon STEM. On one hand, the project seems daunting and the workspace feels in this moment like it will look this way forever. On the other hand, we know we aren’t the only parents with ‘tech kids’ who need an enrichment alternative to sports…and in this day and age, aren’t all kids ‘tech kids’ to some degree?