Teens feel that technology will be a major part of overcoming societal problems such as energy conservation and reducing disease and pollution, according to a recent study on teens’ perception of technology and innovation conducted by The Lemelson-MIT program. But teens aren’t interested in personally solving these problems. Only nine percent of respondents are interested in a career in science and eight percent in business.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Students’ lack of interest in these program areas has been a point of concern in recent years. Merton Flemings, Lemelson-MIT’s program director, feels that more effort should be directed at improving students’ interest in science and technology careers, adding, “The relative lack of interest in science and technology-oriented fields is alarming.”
The rate of innovation has more than doubled during the lifetime of today’s teens. The study reports that they have no problem keeping up with the constant developments in technology. They’re also well informed enough to be aware of trends and make technology predictions. 33 percent said that gas-powered cars will be obsolete by 2015, and 22 percent feel that desktop computer use will fade out of use during the next decade.
By Margaret Locher
For more information on teens and technology, read ’The Kids Are All Right’ in the June 15, 2005 edition of CIO magazine.