How amazing would it be if the next Steve Wozniak was a Latina?
Through our partnership with Ford Motor Company and the development of the Celebrate Education (#CelebrateEDU) series, our Los Tweens team is working to inspire multicultural parents of girls to help their daughters prepare for careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)-related fields. We already have produced two posts featuring great tips from each of our interviews with high-level STEM-focused females at Ford. And then we had the huge opportunity to be able to ask Steve Wozniak for his point of view during the Further with Ford Conference.
We specifically asked Steve “As parents, how can you inspire innovation in your children?” His response, “Let them imagine, develop, create and experiment. Don’t make them follow a pattern- let them make their own pattern. Don’t be afraid if they fail. It’s part of the process.” And he urges us to not dismiss youth. As he reminded Cristy and I, “A bunch of twenty-somethings created the personal computer out of a garage.”
Steve’s words of wisdom were spot on and yet they can be a challenge especially in this digitally connected world our tweens are growing up in. So how do we get them away from the screens? How do we foster ingenuity and creativity? Lucky for us, the Ford Trends Conference also had the answers. A few tips from the sessions during the conference:
- Encourage Questions. Remember when they were three years old and every question out of their mouth was “Why?” They were inquisitive, eager to learn and drove us crazy but it was important to their development. Let’s bring that back. Make asking questions part of daily conversation.
- Don’t be Afraid to Not Have the Answers. That’s what the internet is for! Research the answer together. Look it up with them. Both of you will learn something new.
- Make space for exploration. Give them the tools, area and resources they need for exploration. You won’t be complaining about the living room covered in computer parts when your tween becomes an engineer.
- Disconnect. It’s tempting to allow our children to interact with the computer, phone, television or video games all day but these gadgets won’t give them the ability to delve further. Separate your tween from the screen so they can have time to explore the world around them.
Together we can inspire our tweems to think further, imagine and dream the way Steve Wozniak did.