by Carol Fertig
Students who want to learn about careers in science and engineering can do so through a series of interviews (many written, some video) at Cogito. Interviews are both with professionals and with advanced students in high school and college. When you watch and read these interviews, it becomes obvious that these individuals took their interests seriously, and found appropriate ways to pursue them, from very early ages. Their work is often notable before they even graduate from high school.
NOVA also has a great series of videos and written materials titled The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers. By watching and reading the various segments, students learn about the many different roads available to scientists and engineers (some quite obscure) and also see unexpected aspects of the personal lives of these professionals. This series brings a human element to the professions. For instance, Rachel Collins is both a microbiologist and a professional wrestler. Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist and a figure skater. Emily Whiting is an architectural engineer and a rock climber. Alan Sage is both a vegetarian scientist and a rapper. The NOVA website also has a teachers guide for introducing young people to careers in science and engineering.
Both the Cogito and the NOVA websites can be used to encourage gifted kids to pursue careers in math and engineering.
This blog post initially appeared on the Gifted Child Info Blog on June 17, 2011.