It all started with a clock...
I am deeply sickened that we live in a culture where we ridicule and bully the smart kids because they are "different" yet we praise the jocks and the popular girls. While the schools will come address the bullying issues by saying "kids will be kids", they will defend their jocks because it's all about the image of the school.
Today, the ridicule of the "brainy" kids has now been escalated to the next level with the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, the young boy from Irving, TX who homebrewed a clock inside of a briefcase and brought it to school to show it to a teacher. The boy ended up in handcuffs because the ignorant administration thought it was a bomb.
This is the problem with our society. We have completely lost touch of what goes into our gadgets. There was a time when kids not only wanted to play with the latest technology, but they also wanted to take it a part to see how it ticks. I admit, I was one of those kids.. I am pretty sure somewhere buried in landfills in Southern California there are disassembled TV sets and other items from my early days. We are now a button-pushing, appliance-operating, RTFM, crass-consumer culture who feel that mass-produced junk made in China is real technology. Of course, our media does not help with this.
This school sent the wrong message. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) should be encouraged and welcomed in all schools. We have reached a point in time when kids are now being discouraged from building things. I mean, let's face it. Why build a clock with all of that soldering (you may burn yourself) and just go to Walgreens, pay $10 and get a clock? Perhaps Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera were on to something when they created "The Jetsons". In the future, working would be nothing more than just "pushing buttons" and we would have robots and flying cars (where ARE the flying cars???). We are at that point where we are pushing buttons. By reading this blog, you have probably had to push some buttons (that includes clicking that mouse). I know I had to push a bunch of buttons to write this.
We especially need to get more young girls to explore a future in STEM fields. There are many opportunities out there and those opportunities should be equal opportunities.
I very well known that in the case of Ahmed Mohamed, Islamophobia likely played a huge role in the schools and police handling of this situation. I am not going there in this writing.
It seems to me that MacArthur High School does not want to graduate the next leaders in STEM. As long as they can push buttons, pass standardized tests and kick footballs, they will succeed at MacArthur. But, will they succeed for the long run?
Sorry for the rant folks. I am a huge supporter of our youth learning STEM and geography. These are my academic hot-buttons and today's events sparked a nerve.
I stand with Ahmed and all of future engineers out there. Please do not let your school hold you back or say that you can't do it because you are a girl. If you put your mind and heart to it, you will succeed. While I am currently not a huge success, I learned most of what I know on my own. Even in my day, I could not rely on the schools to teach these special skills. Now with the internet, this kind of research is so much easier. I wish I had the internet when I was Ahmed's age. I only had huge CompuServe bills.