Development of tomorrow’s cleantech work force has to begin as early as sixth grade, recruiter Dan Smolen says in an article on LinkedIn Pulse.
“In order for the sector to innovate, scale, and continuously specialize, it must have this force multiplier—a well-trained, skilled, experienced, and adaptable workforce—in place,” Smolen writes. But while U.S. high schools are putting more emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction, “our clean energy space has done a less than stellar job of entering the classroom to grab its share of career-focused students.”
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Sixth grade is the place to start because “children entering middle school are still ‘sponges’ for learning. From the time of their births, the process of synaptogenesis has allowed them to absorb lots of new and varied experiences which turn into learning,” he explains. “By early adolescence, children ‘prune’ their synapses so that they are less attentive to the things that don’t necessarily hold their continued interest.”
Moreover, “it is also in middle school where students begin to get serious about ‘what they want to do when they grow up,’ turning their passion into purpose.”