It should be understood that all African-Americans must get themselves engaged in STEM-based disciplines if they want to maintain or better their lifestyle in a global economy. In addition, we need to make sure our kids are definitely focused on STEM by getting them involved with technology. This article is going to talk about all of the type of STEM related activities we can pursue that is in global demand and also build economic empowerment at home. Many cats when they hear STEM, they think something like a PhD in Astrophysics and that is hardly the case. To be honest, STEM is more practical than you think and many of your Black asses reading this are already doing STEM jobs – you just ain’t figured out the hustle for yourself yet. Hell, if your ass was in prison, you was doing STEM work that can get you paid if you applied it out here instead of applying for jobs – that’s how f*cking sick this whole ish is and I can’t believe brothas and sistas in the 21st century not realizing their opportunities to stack paper, regardless of their background and situation. The only thing I know of to date stopping Black folks from getting paper and building empires is their mindset. I wish all these cats would do is change their mindset and you do not know how frustrating it is to see brothas hide behind their ego and these sistas hide behind a brotha with these egos instead of go out there and do for self. Most of you cats have people in your lives suffering, got relatives who are suffering due to the economy and being jobless where they depressed and feeling hopeless but your ass won’t step up and learn stuff to get paper up to do for your people who are in need. That’s messed up! Look, many people, especially the Black Web 2.0 cornballs want to have you believe that creating iPhone apps is cutting edge technology. To be honest, there are bigger and more serious STEM stuff that is way more simple, fun and hands on and easy for anybody including kids to pursue than building out code for a web page. Let’s talk about those STEM areas: Manufacturing Many people want to believe manufacturing is a zero-sum game where it boils down to the 15 cents an hour teenage girl working in a Guatemala sweat shop but that is not true. What people fail to take in account is quality and premium price sells no matter how bad the economy is and there is no need to discount. Why are Chinese cats buying the living ish out of Louis Vuitton when they can make replica handbags for cheap? Because like I told you, cats want and desire quality. You don’t need to play the zero-sum game, you can create the same kind of romantic story as Rolls-Royce where you build and manufacture by hand a fine and exclusive collection of shoes, handbags, wine that caters to cats with money who want exclusivity and quality craftsmanship. Nothing makes me laugh when I hear an idiot talk about why someone will buy a M3 BMW or a Saleen Mustang or a AMG Mercedes when it just a car because only the broke and busted would make such a statement. What rich cats want to buy is not just an item, they want to buy the story of German or Italian artisans who honed their skills to turn out the perfect piece of art. Many of you brothas and sistas can do this same hustle and create fine and exclusive products - the same way they make $2,000 Momotaro Japanese jeans in an artisian format: There are plenty of old manufacturing plants in the Rust Belt region from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, etc. where some brothas and sistas can gather up old manufacturing equipment in abandoned warehouse or antique collector shop, get it working again and revive old manufacturing practices for quality one-off custom handmade luxury items. That the stuff to build up a real customer base of rich and affluent in places like China or the Middle East or Europe full of rich cats who like stuff like that. You cats ain’t thinking like this because you been conditioned to believe only other cats can make $2,500 handbags – nah, you can do it too. Mechanical and Electric Engineering Building vending machines, process workflow equipment to support logistics and other robotic like technology is not as hard as you think. In fact, it can be fun and that is why Ed Dunn love Japan so much in this aspect and realize we can pursue this same angle in the hood and create a real economic boom in our own backyard. This is the skill where cats can learn to program thing that lights up: This is why I tell cats to get their kids one of the Arduino boards and let them learn how to program the micro-controller starting with flashing lights. Then they can learn to start controlling servo motors and instead of them making robots, what they should be doing is making vending machines and manufacturing lines and even special effects. Micro controllers are in my opinion the best opportunities out there and would seriously get the kids into. When your kid learns micro-controllers, they got serious skills for the 21st century. They can build out custom vending machines, build out arcade games and even casino games, build out water fountains and light shows that sync to music, create robots that can monitor an area or fetch items and even create autonomous drones that can navigate itself between Columbia and Haiti and the next person that says we don’t have the ships and planes to bring that stuff into this country, tell him that we actually do now because of STEM. Information Engineering Information engineering is basically the science of communication that is very structured. For example, creating “smart posters” with QR codes and NFC tags that can be read by mobile phones. Or learning to create artificial intelligence engines like Siri or Fooky that can process natural language and perform tasks. Even better, learning how to stream digital content such as video and audio and gamification to a consumer base worldwide – this is all information engineering. Now you can create on-demand services with pay-per-view options, create smart posters, create geo-location services, create automated radio DJs, learn to distribute breaking news and be the source of information as you engineer the process to get it to a customer base willing to pay for the information or sponsors willing to subsidize the operation to brand their name to the customers. Finance Anybody who talks about stocks and other financial instruments and is not in mathematics and technology is basically talking out of their butthole. 21st century money is being done by algorithms and intelligence engines that can determine outcome scenarios, maximizing opportunities and risk reduction without human intervention. Many algorithms can be aggressive or be risk-adverse and play it safe and all three can co-exist to manage one person funding account. GPU processing is taking the gaming graphic cards for PC and using the complex computations usually done for graphic rendering and use them instead for financial related calculations. This allows someone with real STEM skills create an virtual environment that mimic real world scenarios in real-time and have what-if scenarios to quickly decide to buy, sell or hold in milliseconds. This is how the rich is getting richer and the clueless 99% is getting poorer. Design and Architecture Design is a scientific art nowadays and is a much needed skill. For example, using web camera to do things like create overlays of clothing over a sista is a design function; show clients an augmented image of something before they buy which can be everything from a car to a home to a floor design or furniture arrangement. All of this requires learning technology such as understanding colors, form, function and space utilization. There are plenty of software out there that does this already and the sick part is some of it is free and open source and can be modified! In addition, papercrafting is something I blogged about before and there are things like 3D printing and MakerBot that can create design prototypes for people to see and touch things from a design prototyping point of view. There is science to understanding how to use the right color combinations, how to make use of small spaces for maximum impact, how to build around the human senses and thought process. This is the skill that is much needed for emerging economies that are building up their cities and hubs and want to compete in attracting talent to their area as a place to enjoy doing business and partake in leisure. Summary When we at Dream and Hustle talk about STEM, I do not intend for brothas and sistas to think of some dork or worse, anyone who reads Black Web 2.0 and stuff like that. STEM is actually real fun stuff like manufacturing things and designing things that has your personal touch and your soul in it. You are building things and you are in control of how it turns out. Cats who make music are actually STEM cats because they use technology to do the autotune, the mixdown and the mastering process. Jesus Christ was a carpenter who used STEM and if Jesus can learn STEM and die on the cross for your sins, then you should at least learn STEM for Christ sake! So with that said, please keep in mind when we are talking STEM, we are talking about using engineering and technology processes that could be old school or new school. What we need to move away from is just doing a damn job like we doing right now for a two-week paycheck. We need to start building things, start moving our own information and start designing our own destiny with our heart and soul poured into what we do and what we control. When we brothas and sistas learn STEM to empower ourselves, then we will understand what freedom really is.