But these fine folks face so many obstacles, not the least of which is that
funding cuts mean more car washes and bake sales.
There also are turf battles and mind-numbing bureaucracies that often hog-tie
teachers, crimp their creativity and ability to do more with less.
One veteran educator works in a school where principals roll
through on an average every 18 months.
One watched in shock as a state education official came to his
classroom, clipboard in hand, to note that he was out of compliance
because the mandatory "word wall" was not quite what it was supposed to
be. He was teaching engineering the day of the official's visit.
Still others talk of a tension between engineering curricula and
programs and other STEM areas.
The TSA, I'm told, often butts heads with other student associations, such as the Future Farmers of
I don't know how they stick with it, but they do, because of their passion and a desire to build the future and see the fruits of
labors come up and shake their hands some day in gratitude.
It's easier, I suspect, on the coasts because many parents are
involved in the technology industries. A lot of you, I know, spend
nights and weekends volunteering on maker projects with your kids and
But in places like Georgia, which is hungry for transformation, there's
no similar base. It must be built from the ground up.
Companies often help out, but
they're not in the education business even though their futures depend
on educated, innovative workers.
Guys like Don
Morgan and his 149 colleagues in the auditorium
can only do so much and find only so much solace in the fact that they're not
It's a major problem and it sticks like barbecue sauce under your nails.
Manufacturing by design: New skills needed to compete
For the love of STEM