Advance View: Science is key

Last year more than 500 people toured Kwantlen Polytechnic University for Science Rendezvous.

It happens again this Saturday at the Langley campus, and hopefully lots of people take up the opportunity to see science in action and enjoy the hands-on science displays.

KPU isn’t the first school to see the need – inducing more people to take an interest in the sciences and science careers.

Schools take students on field trips or have guests come into the classroom to show some of the possibilities of science.

Even astronaut Chris Hadfield has become an ambassador for science and science education.

Yes, young people should feel like they are being badgered about education.

That’s because they have unprecedented opportunities in the coming years in so many sectors of the economy and in industries that may not even exist yet.

A decade ago, who would have imagined 3D printing, social media management/businesses, private space flight, consumer electric cars and even commercial medical marijuana?

Governments have lots of numbers to toss about, such as the labour shortage expected to start around 2016 and already being felt in some sectors such as the trades, which, even if people don’t always acknowledge it, requires a high degree of skill and has plenty of science involved.

According to the B.C. government labour market analysis:

• 1,027,400 job openings are expected for B.C. from 2010-2020.

• Close to two-thirds of job openings (676,400) will be due to replacement demand as a result of retiring workers and deaths.

• The other one-third of job openings (351,000) will be due to the new jobs that result from economic growth.

And that means education, a willingness to work hard at learning, not just for young people but for anyone wanting to change careers.

– H.C.

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