Recently, my wife has been subjecting me to the musical stylings of the show Glee. While I will let some other blog do an analysis of the fragmented and dry dialog, I couldn’t help but think that the show must be doing something to revive interest in the arts in high schools across the country. When was the last time that the arts had such a cool headliner? It really is fantastic for them and I couldn’t be happier that they are getting some more of the spotlight, and ultimately, mindshare with our young people.
Yesterday evening I was at my wife’s sister’s house for Passover and we were all discussing what one of her kids would be best suited for as a career. Of course, her daughter is only 5 years old, but the makings of some intelligence are clearly there. After a few people suggested lawyer, because of her argumentative personality, and other miscellaneous professions, I posited that she is already showing that she has what it takes to handle engineering. If you ask me, she has the knack. Never mind that she is always inquiring about the inner workings of things. I caught a few sideways glances, and then someone gave her some math problems to work out, and without any math training, she was able to complete them all except for one. After seeing her math ability, I proclaimed that from now on she would only get scientific types of gifts from us and that I was going to do everything in my power to glorify the science, technology, engineering, and math professions for her. But wouldn’t it be so much easier if I had some help?
If poorly written and highly produced TV can glorify the lifestyles of Glee club members, what about a show for engineering? We need to make it easier for kids to see the impact that engineers have on society, and it should start by finding a way to enter the collective conscience of TV viewers. And if you think I am crazy, think about how much we glorify GERMAN engineering in this country, and that is mostly just based on car commercials. But short of TV, what can we do to make engineering seem more glamorous? Is it playing on the successes of startup founders? Tell me what you think in the comments.