The Lemelson-MIT Invention Index is an annual survey that measures American teens’ perceptions about invention and innovation. According to their recent press release, this year's survey revealed that:
- 85% of teens expressed interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, with “curiosity about the way things work” as the driving factor for their interest.
- 56% of those interested selected “protecting the environment” or “improving our society” as their inspiration.
- 55% of teens believe scientists, engineers and mathematicians are best described as “intelligent." Only 5% of teens selected “nerdy” as the best description.
- Nearly 2/3 of teens indicated that they may be discouraged from pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics because they do not know anyone who works in these fields.