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Article As Appeared in FamilyCircle - STEM Summer Camps for Teens

By Christina Tynan Wood

It’s the time of year when I start fretting about what I am going to do with my teenagers all summer. If I leave it to them, they will waste hours, days, even weeks watching TV and playing video games. When they were younger, I sent them to camp. But most camps are geared toward younger kids. My daughter Ava (14) is too young to get a job yet most of the camps she once liked are no longer open to her. Fortunately, I saw an opportunity in something she said recently.

“I want to work at Tumblr!” She announced, referring to the company behind the hip blogging tool she adores. Previously she had declared her future would be spent at Google. Or Microsoft. It isn’t the job or company that appeals to her. She isn’t ready to commit to either of those yet. It’s the culture. “I want to work somewhere where everyone is six years old at heart!” She explained. She saw a photo online of Tumblr’s dogand game-friendly offices. I told her of an office I’d seen on a tour of the Googleplex (Google’s Silicon Valley campus) that reminded me of her room because of the stuffed toys strewn everywhere. And she’s heard tell of the Microsoft Seattle Campus, and other cool work/play environments. It looked to her as if, with the right job, she would never have to grow up.

It’s an awesome dream. If your job is also play, you’ll never work a day in your life. I know she will need some serious STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) skills to work at these places. In fact, increasingly it looks as if she will need those skills to get work anyplace. So even if this dream evaporates like many of her previous childish aspirations (princess, jaguar, international spy), I still want her to have those skills. Click here to read more.

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