STEAM Influencer: Caleb Barclay
Q: What is your education and professional background?
A: I went to architecture school and received a Bachelors of Science in Design. For two years after graduating, I worked at an international architecture practice before starting my own business in digital design.
Q: What did you want to become when you were young?
A: When I was young, I knew that I wanted to do something creative. I couldn't articulate it at that age but I knew I wanted to do my own thing, make a living on things I was curious about, which eventually lead to entrepreneurship. I love that one can make a living on ideas.
Q: How did you arrive at your current professional role?
A: Right out of college, I started a non profit organization while working in Architecture. I knew I wanted to do the non-profit full time, but I didn't know how I could run my own venture while paying the bills. At that time, I didn't know the term “entrepreneur” or that it could be taught as a profession. However, I started noticing that my sketch book had significantly more business ideas than it had architecture drawings. I was still unsure how to move forward into entrepreneurship but thankfully, my boss fired me and the first day marked the first day of my entrepreneurial career.
Q: Why is STEM education important?
A: I believe STEM is an education model that draws out natural curiosities and styles of learning, which traditional education falls short. STEM parallels life in a safe and affirming environment by placing value on experimentation, lateral thinking, and new ideas. STEM is also an inclusive model for students because it creates new success metric for education (e.g. "Ace a test." vs. "What did I observe and how can I change a state in the world?"). It levels the playing field and gives every student a chance, not just the straight A students.
Q: What do you think the STEM workforce could look like 5 years from now?
A: In five years, I hope that STEM education is accessible and free to every student. I think STEM will be increasingly more driven by technology, and students will learn how tech is used to advance humanity for the good.