Eyeballs in the fridge.
Yep, that's why STEM education is important at a young age. Now, before you get too grossed out, let me explain.
A study out of the University of Virginia (link here) has shown that having engaging and impactful experiences with STEM at a young age (BEFORE middle school) leads to a greater likelihood of having a passion for the STEM fields and eventually going into a STEM-related field as an adult. This article relates the story of one study participant who had the opportunity to dissect cow's eyes in a third grade science lab. In fact, she was so engaged with the lab, she wanted to bring the cows' eyes home. After dutifully following the teacher's instructions to put the cow's eyes in the fridge, she promptly forgot to let her mother know. (You can only imagine the scream that came when the mother opened up that bag in the fridge!)
I love this study and its findings, because I see it to be true every day. It's not about how many AP classes you take (though those can be great), or getting into the right magnet school for high school (though that can be great, too). The real predictor of a person going into a STEM-related field is encouraging and discovering a passion for it at a young age. That's why I'm passionate about Spark Academy learning, where kids are encouraged to get messy, to dream big, to explore, to create, and to ENJOY with science, technology, engineering and math.