Tuesday, February 14, 2012

STEM, Environmental Sustainability, and Museum Work

The President's Advisory Council on Science and Technology  published a report last week called "Engage to Excel". It was all about what's missing and what's required in US efforts to engage students in Science Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning so that the country can graduate an additional million 21st Century-ready students from college.
No job is isolated from STEM learning, its says. STEM skills are called for in so many actions, and often without us realizing it.

Sounds like a description of sustainability skills to me. No job is isolated from sustainability skills, and they are called for in so many actions and often without us realizing it. And we'd be better at our jobs if we were conscious of, and continuously cultivating sustainability skills.
In five years, sustainability skills will be critical to all museum workers. You'll need it to make environmental control decisions, manage the garbage, choose and manage your utilities, design and select resources for exhibits and special events, and of course understand it if you are rehabilitating, expanding or building a museum.

Will you have sustainability skills?

Here's a quote from the report with "sustainability" replacing 'STEM" in every instance: In general, no job is completely isolated from the influence of new technologies and new ideas. All Americans regularly encounter the products of [sustainability] in their jobs and in their daily lives, though they may not recognize the connection with [sustainability] subjects. The decisions individuals make in supermarkets, doctors’ offices, and voting booths often depend at least in part on ideas drawn from [sustainability] fields. To the extent that people are comfortable and familiar with [sustainability] concepts, they are better able to take advantage of new opportunities and make good decisions on [sustainability]-related issues. In doing so, they help create a cultural environment that is conducive to [sustainability] endeavors and to the benefits those endeavors can produce. p. 122

Environmental sustainability isn't the local dialect yet, but when it is, will you be fluent enough to do your job?

No comments:

Post a Comment