As our kids get older, I start thinking about the fact that the twins will be going to kindergarten soon. This means that they will be involved in a real, structured education system. And I'm excited. Math, science, language, and more. While I admittedly didn't apply myself during my high school years as much as I should have (who knows what life might be like if I had), I hope to inspire the kids to do the opposite. It also means that I can get involved with all the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) projects that I remember from my youth.
Hopefully my involvement will help inspire them to get more involved in one of the STEM fields, and be able to apply that as they get older. I was a huge fan of space and model rockets when I was growing up, but unfortunately I lost focus on that as the years went on. While I'm involved in computers professionally now, it's a field I only really started to embrace as an adult.
There are so many great opportunities in the STEM fields, and I hope that the connections I have made as an adult will allow me to expose the kids to those things. Whether they choose to get involved in the puzzle that is lockpicking (which I'm sure they will), or start ripping electronics apart to understand how they work, or in 3D printing, or in the maker community, my wife and I will be there. Answering questions, giving advice, and, most importantly, not giving up.
There are so many incredible opportunities available for the kids of this generation, and I can't wait to expose our kids to them. Hopefully we can help our kids keep reaching for the stars, always trying to improve.
Also, it's just as important for me to teach our daughter that these same opportunities exist for her. She's not stuck in the typical "female jobs," but can be a scientist, or an engineer, or involved in mathematics. I plan to expose her to the same things that I expose the twins to. It will definitely be harder, but the "girl toys" are starting to make the change. Just look at "Computer Engineer Barbie", who is definitely involved in STEM.
I may not know the answer to the math problems they bring home, but I'll do my best to understand it and help them understand it. I may not know exactly where a wire or connector goes, but together we can figure it out. I may not know how to turn the thing you're imagining into a 3D printed model, but we'll figure it out together.
When we give our kids the opportunities to be life-long learners, they'll hopefully grab a hold and take actions. There are so many possibilities for our children's generation, and it's our responsibility to help them along which ever path they choose.
Edit: If you're looking for a great book about science experiments you can do with your kids, look no further than Mike Adamick's upcoming "Dad's Book of Awesome Science Experiments" which is live today in Kindle version, and in physical copy on 4/18 on Amazon.