FEATURE RS Components

What do you want to be when you grow up?

How many times do you remember being asked that question at school. Each time, you probably gave a diff erent answer: aged fi ve, 10, 15 and probably again at 20! Maybe it used to be astronaut, or cowboy. Maybe it used to be

doctor and then fi reman. For me it was always a veterinarian. Did you ever think that you would be doing the role you are in

today? Have you ever stopped and tracked your working life back to school, see where on the map the decisions were made that led you to where you are today? Do you remember who infl uenced you, guided you or made you think about the future? Now, more than ever, questions like these will help us rebuild the

future of our community as we persevere through a pandemic, the like of which never experienced in any of our current living generations. I put it to you that this question we have become so

ingrained in asking (in its current format) hinders the possibility of aspiration.

What do you want to be when you grow up? Why? Read it out loud… hear it yet? We are asking a question that limits an answer! By asking a young person (or an adult for that matter) what they

want to be is asking them to choose from a list of jobs/careers they know exist today in their current format. How is it fuelling the engine of our economy by asking such as closed question? Asking that our young people choose from careers they have


Laura Giddings STEM Education RS Components

no knowledge of and/or minimal exposure to. We should be asking, What would you like to do?

Let’s break it down What would (open ended request to think laterally) you like (I’m asking about something you have an interest or passion in now) to do? (It doesn’t have to be from a list of existing roles in formats you know) Numerous times I have put this theory into action with young people. When I ask them what they want to be and why – they cannot explain their choice, the answer is generic and almost automatic. When I ask them, what would like to do many will

pause, think and answer. Not only can many young people explain their answer articulately, but they also can give a great explanation as to why (which generally leaves parents and teachers speechless) As the STEM Education Manager at RS

Components, my job is to help inspire the next generation to consider a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) based careers. By inspiring young people and their infl uencers today to think about their potential in the future. This is not only extremely important but very rewarding. Since 1937, RS has grown to support every kind

of engineer around the world, who work in various sectors and industries. Today RS is recognised around the world in 32 countries and is listed as a FTSE250 business (Electrocomponents Plc)

More inspiration please In 2016, the Royal Academy of Engineering identifi ed, from a detailed mapping of the STEM Education landscape in the UK, that

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