A recent survey by The Institution of Engineering and Technology in London found that 48 percent of parents with kids between the ages of five and 13 years old don’t know what “STEM” stands for.
So it’s not surprising that one in three of these parents admit that the very thought of having to answer a STEM-related question for their kids leaves them feeling ill.
Here are some additional sobering statistics from the study:
- only slightly more than 20% are familiar with the term “Boolean logic”
- 46 percent don’t know what binary code is
- 68 percent can’t define a hexadecimal
- 64 percent are in the dark about Raspberry Pi technology
- Over half couldn’t remember what photosynthesis is
- 68 percent can’t recall Pythagoras’ theorem
- 54 percent can’t remember how to solve long division problems.
- 52 percent can’t calculate fractions
- Four in 10 couldn’t name the number of sides comprising an octagon
- 73 percent can’t recite Newton’s law of universal gravitation
- 47% don’t understand prime numbers or recognize the symbol for pi
- two-thirds can’t remember the name for when a liquid turns into a gas
- 52 percent don’t know the boiling point of water
- 61 percent don’t know how to calculate the circumference of a circle (the other 60% don’t care)
It’s a shame that so many parents are math and/or science phobic, since such a fear could be passed on to their children.
I love math, and like science, but I have to admit that I would struggle with some of these topics.
However, I wouldn’t get ill if my child asked me to explain photosynthesis or how the hexadecimal system works, but would be excited to re-educate myself about such topics and then share that knowledge with my child.
But we’ve all got our likes and dislikes, our strengths and weaknesses.
If someone asked me to explain the purpose of a fuel pump or where the struts are on a car, I would start to feel ill, and less of a man.
Ask me to solve for the hypotenuse of a right triangle though, and I’m your man.
But if my car breaks down on the side of the road, I don’t think the Pythagorean Theorem is going to come in too handy…