The Blog

STEM was Dead Last

January 2, 2018

Last week, there was an article in the Washington Post that I found particularly interesting.  The way the world is evolving, there is a notion that to be workforce ready, one must be trained in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). That’s where the jobs will be, therefore, it is imperative to study in these areas for viable job security. Two recent studies by Google refuted that ideology and identified that workplace success is not based upon “hard skills.”

Google tested its hiring hypothesis and found that among the seven most important qualities of a successful employee, STEM was dead last.  This grabbed my attention because STEM has a prominent place in most schools; public and private.  Often times when I attend professional development opportunities, STEM is broached either philosophically or literally.  The majority of the educational marketing I receive is based on STEM instruction.  While I think there is value in STEM, I also believe that Project prepares student for the unknown future.

Google ran two studies – Project Oxygen and Project Aristotle.  The results revealed that the top six skills of successful Google employees include being a good coach, communicating and listening well, possessing insights into others’ values and points of view, empathy and being supportive of each other, critically thinking and problem solving, and making connections across complex ideas. These are the skills that make it possible for employees to successfully use their STEM instruction.  (Read the Washington Post article)

We are so fortunate that our children at Rohan Woods are learning these “soft skills” at such a young age.  Through Project, they have time to be introduced to these skills, practice them, make mistakes that require being introspective and make adjustments.  Our children have time to mature and hone these skills, while recognizing the importance of being able to work within a group.  The future for our children at Rohan Woods is very promising due to the foundation that is forming today. 2018 will indeed be an exciting year for our students.

Happy New Year,


Sam Templin-Page
Head of School

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