by S.A. Prince
A few Saturdays ago I was consulting downtown in an open office space. Apart from the consulting that I was doing, which was off to the side in a conference room, there were children in the general area learning 3-D printing.
3-D printing is the future, but don’t listen to me. Let these people who are INFIINTELY smarter and more qualified than me explain it to you:
The number of children in attendance were sparse and ALL WHITE, indicating a growing issue often not discussed.
First, there were very few children there. Why? Why would something as important as knowing how to 3-D print draw so few people? In part, I believe this is because many parents are unaware. They don’t know what 3-D printing is, or how pivotal it could be to our economic future. The other reason is because I believe many children are too busy playing sports.
According to CNN, “There are an estimated 41 million American kids playing competitive youth sports. The number of children involved in youth sports has risen significantly over the last 10 to 20 years, according to Dr. Steve Carney, a professor of sport management at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
‘In just about every sport, there’s been an increase’ he says.'”
This report is from ten years ago, and it is more than plausible that those numbers are significantly higher now. Sports aren’t going to help our country grow, but innovation will.
Secondly, there were no minority children there. That’s actually not appalling. I attribute much of this a lack of awareness too. But parents have to know. It is important that minority parents are exposing their children to not only sports, but also activities within the science and technical fields.
Many of our professional athletes are black. Now, I’m going to go out on a social limb here, but I believe this is due to the black community’s preference for sports instead of education. Athletics reign supreme within inner city communities. I know, I live in one.
While we’re doing that in American, “40% of graduates in China in 2013 studied science, technology, engineering or maths. That’s more than twice the share of U.S. Graduates.” (BBC News)
It’s not a surprise that much of the world’s innovation is coming from other countries. On the Forbes list of top 5 innovative countries, America didn’t make the cut in: Research and Development, Manufacturing, Post-Secondary Education, and Research Personnel. America did post in the top 5 in High-tech and Patents. I think those two should be obvious though considering how much corporate money we to funnel into both. (To see this list, click HERE)
If we keep going this way, sooner or later, it’s going to be time to pay the piper. I would advise we begin to invest in our economic future now by placing our children into programs other than sports. Whether it’s 3-D Printing, or even Computer Coding, there’s a lot out there to take advantage of.
I’ll do my best to post these opportunities on my social media outlets.