Stop trying to make it "cool" and start making it interesting and useful to young people's lives? If they see it as a way to make money, or make something they want, they'll do it. Ever seen Breaking Bad?? ;)
I'm with Sylvie on this. It's not about making it "cool." It's about giving the kids who are interested in fun stuff, like STEM, but not exclusively STEM of course, a way to pursue what intrigues them.
"Cool" is for losers. Losers who are so insecure that they shy away from what intests them, only because some half-wit classmates might disapprove of their interests. How pathetic is that?
Kids form their interests very early on. What the educational system has to do is to nourish those interests, and more generally, discourage the popular notion in schools that "it's cool to be stupid." Being stupid and sullen is hardly cool. Kids need to be encouraged to feel secure in what they like.
I don't know if any of you have seen a program called robot wars .... if kids can use robot to "battle" and "destroy" other things whilst learning....
have a look.... this is the way to go IMO
With platforms such as the Arduino and Raspberry Pi being widely adopted by the DIY/maker community, I wonder if the mindset can be brought into education.
What if classes such as carpentry/shop were replaced or offerred alongside a "Maker" class? Would you have taken that in school? I know I would have.