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Bill Nye the Science Guy Touts Importance of STEM for Teens

The beloved TV personality Bill Nye the Science Guy is opening up about the importance of keeping teens interested in STEM no matter what the cost is.

“For some high schoolers, science isn't an abstract topic they learn about in class, but the key to solving problems that affect the globe,” according to Alexandra Pannoni of USANews.

The world of science, technology, engineering and math has is being pushed by educators nationwide. Students are being encouraged to explore these subjects in the hope that they will be inspired to be the world’s next greatest STEM experts.

“’If you're on blood thinners and you get a cut, your blood is just going to flow without stopping because you don’t have the properties necessary to heal the wound,’ says Bradley Nokes, 17, who, along with fellow students at West Salem High School in Oregon, helped design a prototype of a system that could one day help people with this problem,” according to the USANews article.

Nokes and his classmates won first place in the nations ExploraVision K-12 Science competition for grades 10-12 according to the report. Students are motivated by competition because it drives them to become better than their peers. However, Nye believes that competition shouldn’t be the only driving factor. In fact, he believes that much of that engaging push must come from the teachers.

“Well, it's really easy with young students,” Nye responded when asked if it was harder to keep teens interested in STEM as opposed to younger students.

“As a science educator, I've never had any trouble engaging people because you got props, you blow stuff up. ​Come on, what's cooler than that? ​What is it that you loved about your favorite teacher? This is not a trick question; it was his or her passion, right?”

“So when I'm king of the forest, which is a ways off, we would enable school systems to hire teachers of physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology to make as much money as say, a software engineer, and it would attract people who are very competent and passionate. This would lead to a better tomorrow for all humankind, at a very reasonable cost.”

Nye’s responses revealed that a student is more likely to remember the teacher who was the most passionate in the classroom and made a lasting impression on their him/her. He also has some words of encouragement for teachers nationwide.

“Let your passion come through, that's what I tell everybody. Go for it. Don't be embarrassed. Go wild. Whatever it is, whatever it is within you, let it out. If you have a tie-dye lab coat, go for it. If you want to wear a perfectly starched lab coat, crisp with a bow tie, I say embrace it. If you are wearing a bow tie – another thing I'll say, just as an aside – I think you should also wear a shirt. It's up to you.​”

For more on Nye’s interview with USAToday read the full story and share your comments below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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