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Exploring in Middle School

A new offshoot of Exploring brings vital jobs- training information and plenty of fun to youth in sixth, seventh and eighth grades. Bill Taylor, director of Exploring, says that Middle School Explorer Clubs are spreading across the country following a successful pilot program. Taylor explains that creation of the clubs

was driven by the U.S. Department of Education’s call for more career exploration at the middle-school level. “The program is based on data from career-interest surveys we do in schools,” he says. “We also encourage councils to work with school guidance counselors to give students a better understanding of possible future [career] choices.” These careers include jobs in aviation, law enforcement, skilled trades and more. So far, more than 18 councils have set up more than 67 clubs. As an added benefit, high school Explorers work with the

younger kids, thus strengthening the ties between the different age groups. “So the middle schools now feed the post members, and the post provides mentors for the younger kids,” Taylor says. The middle school concept is flourishing in the Greater St. Louis Area Council, where eight after-school clubs focus on robotics,

using program resources from FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) with seed funds contributed by Boeing. Teachers at the schools conduct the programs, which prepare the clubs to compete in local and state robotics competitions. Thomas Kroenung, STEM program director for the council, says the clubs have been a solid hit with local middle schoolers

and may expand beyond robotics in the future. “It’s been great bringing [Exploring] to the younger grade levels,” he says. “We’ve seen spectacular results here so far.” For more information, go to the Exploring section at

GOOD READ Sons, Spirit and Science

Parents seeking sound advice will be glad to learn that best- selling author Michael Gurian (The Wonder of Boys, A Fine Young Man) and psychologist Gregory L. Jantz, Ph.D., have teamed up on a new book, Raising Boys by Design: What the Bible and Brain Science Reveal About What Your Son Needs to Thrive. (WaterBrook Press, $14.99) “Gregg and I are from dif-

ferent worlds and different perspectives, but the book shows that evolutionary biology (my specialty) and Bible-based practice (Gregg’s specialty) can not only coexist in child-raising but reinforce and strengthen one another,” Gurian says.

The book is primarily intended for Christian parents, says Gurian, who refers to himself as “secular and science-based.” He and Jantz found much more to agree than disagree about. “If you look for the common ground, it’s very possible to show an amazing match between Biblical wisdom and science,” Gurian says. For example, the authors insist that gender differences

between boys and girls are both real and important. Citing transcultural scientific studies, they point to biochemical dif- ferences in the way that girls and boys process emotion. Girls are more comfortable talking and sharing their feelings, while boys, Gurian says, exhibit what is called “aggression nurtur- ing” through horseplay, touching and playfully punching one another. “God created man and woman, and they’re different,” he says. “Science backs that up.” Raising Boys by Design delivers thoughtful chapters on the

promises and perils of technology and social media, succeed- ing in school, developing healthy sexuality and more. Parents will profit from the twin perspectives of science and religion.


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