Launching Dreams with STEAM
(Science, Technology, Engineering,
the Arts, and Math) education!
My journey as an advocate for STEM / STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) education began at a very early age. My appreciation for STEM began when I was first inspired by a "scientist" named "Mr. Spock" (who just happened to be the fictional character and "Science Officer" of the USS Enterprise in the TV series Star Trek). Everyday after school I would watch reruns of Star Trek as the highly skilled Enterprise crew (professionals trained in science, technology, engineering, and math) used their STEM education to save the ship against all odds, and make the galaxy a better place!
My lifelong passion to discover was inspired by Star Trek and the other Science Fiction TV shows I was watching in my childhood. It was on the TV where I first saw the use of advanced technology based in part on real scientific theories. A factual understanding of STEM was used as the foundation in the Science Fiction futures I was seeing on TV and reading about in books. Stories based in science and advanced technology did more than entertain, they were the catalyst that first sparked my imagination and ignited my passion to want to discover more about the universe. NASA understands this connection between "Science Fiction and Science Fact" better than most as it presented the very first Shuttle with the name "Enterprise" alongside the cast and creator of Star Trek. With the unveiling of the Space Shuttle "Enterprise" in 1976, Science Fiction was definitely inspiring Science Fact and I had developed a real interest and love for the U.S. space program. I have followed humanities journey to explore ever since then.
It was during this period in my youth that I began dreaming of making a positive impact on the future of the world (which I had seen being played out in the Science Fiction shows I had watched). But what I didn't realize at the time was that big dreams like that required big actions and a whole lot of support that was not readily available to me. In my world, the acronyms "STEM" and "STEAM" education were not part of my vocabulary. It was my experience that "traditional thinking" should prevail, and that meant dreaming big dreams was not practical. Big dreams were seemingly unattainable, unrealistic, unaffordable, and simply not practical in the "real world" I lived in. So I learned that having a stable job was more important than chasing an impossible dream!
Nelson Mandela once said, "There is no passion to be found playing small -- in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." In this world, we are tempted everyday to settle for less and to play small. Going after a dream demands so much time, money, and effort that it is easier to give up your dream (or not have one at all) and to just settle for less than you are actually capable of achieving. In other words, the sooner you stop dreaming the easier it is on everyone! There is less pain and disappointment that way (at least in the short term). But when that happens, you stop believing in yourself, you lose the passion you once had in childhood, and finally you give up your dream. I know this all too well because that's my story!
The truth is that we all need to be inspired and motivated everyday to keep going for our dream and our passion. Lacking the push that reminds us to keep going and not to give up, we eventually will lose sight of our dream. As in my case, sometimes the dream is lost even before it's given the chance to launch! That is what happened to me. Once I lost sight of my dream, regaining back the passion in life I once had was extremely difficult. I had to dig very deep to discover that passion I once had as a kid to dream again! Many years later while watching TV, I accidentally saw the movie "October Sky" for the very first time. I was fascinated by the story and wanted to know everything about Homer Hickam. While reading one of his books, I read his words "we are doers, not dreamers" and I understood his message. It takes big actions to achieve big dreams. This message has been understood by many others, including Abigail Harrison (also known as Astronaut Abby) whose message is to "dream big, act big, and inspire others!" What is needed to achieve your dream is to talk about it with other people. You need to find other people who are willing to give you that support and continuous reminder not to give up on your dream! Finding people who believe in you and your dream is essential. We all need help to remind us not to doubt ourselves, and not listen to anyone who tells us that our dream is impossible to achieve!
My goal now is to help amplify these messages so that everyone can find the inspiration needed to launch their own dreams into reality (no matter what circumstances they find themselves in). Although I do not have a career in a STEM field, today I have a new dream! It's one of making STEM / STEAM better understood by more people (especially parents). Albert Einstein said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge" and in my own experience I know this to be true! It starts at an early age while watching a TV show like Star Trek, going to see a movie, or reading a book. The arts can be the spark that ignites our imagination and motivates us to learn more about the universe we live in. That's why the Arts is a vital part of the acronym "STEAM" and Science Fiction entertainment like Star Trek is important. They are the fuel that keeps our imagination alive and well. They ignite our desire to learn so we can achieve our goals and realize the dreams we had in our youth.
I want to elevate and illuminate more adult's imagination so they will truly understand what Einstein meant, and see how nonprofit organizations like Higher Orbits are vital to kids who have big dreams! The "Go For Launch!" program by Higher Orbits is more than just another STEM event. It helps kids learn the essential skills in communication, leadership, and teamwork that are needed for students to achieve their goals and dreams. I support Higher Orbits because their unique STEM experience "Go For Launch!" is reaching more young people to imagine a brighter future and become excited about learning through STEM education! This is an enormous advantage for students who participate. Higher Orbits is achieving a tremendous positive impact and inspiring more students to learn by bringing the "Go For Launch!" STEM experience to the local areas where students live. Higher Orbits is making STEM more interesting and convenient for students, especially for those who aren't otherwise able to travel and attend a STEM program or camp outside their local area!
Today I am putting my dream into action through this website. I founded Discover Con to create a unique event experience for people of all ages, where families can come to be inspired together by the people who are achieving their goals and dreams! I am looking for like-minded people who also want to inspire others to take action and go for their dreams. The people on this website are those who are willing to take action to be doers, not just dreamers, and those who are inspiring others to launch their dreams into reality. These are the people who are my heroes, and my goal is to get them all together on this website.
Discover Con is a place where STEM / STEAM professionals come together to make a difference in the world by helping student's dreams come true with science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. I am dual-tracking my interest in STEM / STEAM education and smart entertainment with The Fusion of Entertainment & STEAM™ as a means to bring the virtues of STEAM education to a broader audience.
My mission is to support people's dreams and I created this website to enable Discover Con to accomplish my mission of launching those dreams into reality. This website also serves as a "proof of concept" for Discover Con to show support for a unique convention experience dedicated to inspiring the next generation of scientists, researchers, artists, innovators, and explorers. You can help by joining our team and sharing your own passion for STEM / STEAM with others. If you'd like to do more by helping me support worthwhile organizations like Higher Orbits, please inquire about sponsorship opportunities here.
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