How come no one ever talks about how important ROLE Models are in STEAM?
It’s 2018 and we still don’t have enough role models in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematical) positions. Not because it’s unreachable, but as STEAMRole CEO Clarence Wooten often says “What we can not see, we often can not achieve”.
This quote resonates from personal experience. My siblings and I have benefited from having my Mom and Dad serve as awesome role models in our lives, so we always felt confident enough to be able to learn anything we set our minds to and achieve it. They empowered us to believe that we can achieve anything — because if Mom and Dad can do it — why can’t we?
From what I know, not everyone feels the same way….
Let’s backtrack to one of many early Saturday afternoons in the late 90s as a kid. My siblings and I are huddled around a table but we’re not playing boardgames or watching Saturday morning cartoons. We’re “enriching” ourselves through math problems that our father takes pleasure in watching us slog through.
(It’s only later that we learn the slog is what separates the doers from the dreamers.)
While this is going on, you can hear the sound of our neighbor’s basketball being dribbled on the paved asphalt floor of a driveway and the faint cackle of kids laughing and screaming. The three of us wonder to ourselves “We MUST be the only kids in the neighborhood doing this”. It doesn’t help that our dad, a civil engineer keeps repeating, “With math, you can figure anything out with enough practice”. If Dad wasn’t around on the weekend, then Mom — a nurse — would have us read from the stack of books we checked out from the library (usually non-fiction science and math books).
Fast forward, to our 20s, my siblings and I have come to realize the Saturdays at the kitchen table with Dad have helped, as my brother and I are now software engineers and my sister is a registered nurse.
Sometimes when I suggest a STEAM career path to a friend or loved one, I’ll hear a common response — something along the lines of “I can’t. That’s not for me, it’s not possible”. When I think back as to why my siblings and I were able to do so, it’s solely because it was totally possible because Dad and Mom were ROLE MODELS.
Now I’d be remiss to say that not everyone is fortunate enough to be put in a position to have role models in STEAM. And for those that are, there’s such a large spectrum among the sciences that parsing through what, why, and how to get involved can get overwhelming. Ideally, a person could get in touch with a specialized professional in a non awkward accessible way, right ? If you’ve had a mentor, did they not drastically boost your progress or help you arrive at YOUR truth?
Enter STEAMRole — which is kind of like a Tinder for finding your dream career. You can download the iOS app and follow roadmaps of STEAM professionals who serve as role models for the platform.
Besides being able to foster and nurture the careers of individuals interested in getting into STEAM, companies can use a SaaS-based Platform which runs on our proof-of progress protocol. The proof-of-progress protocol is where STEAMRole is building an infrastructure where companies can track the progress and education of students and individuals.
And the proof is in the pudding. RoleCoin has been garnering support from several prominent companies, most recently Hewlett-Packard.
Individuals interested in education and career development will be able to earn our utility token, RoleCoin (ROLE) by making progress or helping others make progress. You can then spend RoleCoin at over 100 colleges and universities worldwide via our partnership with Kadenze, which gets you direct access to STEM/STEAM role models from top companies.
I haven’t even mentioned the rap-sheet of co-founders Clarence and Yoli. Last week, Clarence sold the last start-up he co-founded (Progressly) to Box.com, and sold his 1st startup in 1999 for $23 million. Or the credentials of Yoli, who was a director of marketing at Microsoft, and is an accomplished public speaker.
Staying true to the RoleCoin spirit, these accomplished founders have their own role models on board in an advisorial capacity. Some of the advisors include the founding chairman of TechCrunch, Former President Obama’s Deputy Asst. of Education, and MoviePass’s co-founder.
We always hear that science and technology needs to be more inclusive. We need more women. We need more minorities. We need diversity. And we need those willing to receive the opportunity to further themselves. And that’s completely valid. It’s actual tangible solutions like RoleCoin that will usher this hope into manifesting into reality.