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Milton Bertrand 310 articles

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I felt pretty down that no one would know about this.” Ahmed Mohamed

  • Posted by Milton Bertrand
  • September 18, 2015 12:03 AM EDT
  • 2 comments
  • 3,420 views
Be inspired by story like this to pursue STEM. STEM fields are in fact the pillars of great innovations. It is very cool to be a STEMer.

Inventing is what most 14 year boy or girl in America should do. Every single one of them should have no fear about experimenting, developing, discovering the next great piece of innovation. It is something that I have been talking about for years. The next wonder pharmaceutical compound may not come from a big or small research institution. It may very well come from someone who is working in his/her garage. However, there is a greater fear of similar situation as to what happened to Ahmed Mohamed a 14 year from the Dallas suburb of Irving who brought a homemade clock to his high school. He had hoped to impress a teacher. Instead, after the device beeped in an English class, he was arrested, handcuffed and interrogated on suspicion that his device might be a bomb or a hoax bomb.

If schools are not ideal places to brag, showcase our inventions where else should we go? I am sure this question looms on the mind of many who are fear of being arrested, jailed and suspended for some ingenuity that could very well save many lives in the future. The next entrepreneur or innovator is afraid of taking his/her idea to public as to what some initial thoughts might be. It is important that we are careful not to interfere with creativity. Sustainability of the future is dependent on cleverly inventing devices. I pose this question; what is the message that we are sending to our future inventors?

As a nation, we have argued that there aren’t enough U.S. students gaining the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills that will prepare them for tomorrow’s jobs. In addition, there aren’t enough children of color with these skills, in large part because many of them don’t have access to the right resources or are discouraged from pursuing tech careers.

It was welcome news to see how the leaders of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies responded. There was even a tweet from President Barack Obama’s account: “Cool clock, Ahmed,” the President wrote. “Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”

Here is the buzz on social media.

"I really hope you guys are absolutely ashamed for possibly ruining the ingenuity of one bright kid who made a CLOCK for crying out loud. What kind of education does your professors have?" David Velez wrote on the school's Facebook page. "It sounds like they are the ones that need to be going back to school!"

"Shame on your school and its administration for arresting Ahmed Mohamed," wrote Jillian York. "Way to stifle a kid's creativity and energy. I hope you're all replaced with compassionate, non-racist, administrators and teachers."

Be inspired by story like this to pursue STEM. STEM fields are in fact the pillars of great innovations. It is very cool to be a STEMer.

By Milton Bertrand

He is a fellow Geazler.

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