(The Root) — I usually try very diligently to stay away from reality television. I don't always succeed, and there are some reality shows out there that are actually pretty good, but for the most part I like to stick with more traditional TV programming. But if this newest television project gets off the ground, I just may be adding another reality show to my lineup.
Will.i.am and Simon Cowell are reportedly working on a reality-television show similar to the popular X Factor that would focus on finding the next big technology entrepreneur. Will.i.am is already very involved in STEM (science, technology, education and math) education and training, having raised $7 million to create a school in East Los Angeles that focuses on STEM. There is a shortage of qualified STEM professionals in this country. He has also partnered with NASA on STEM projects and continues to preach the message of STEM training around the world.
"Singing and performance create a couple of jobs," Will.i.am told the United Kingdom's Sun newspaper. "But this will create lots … It's about getting in touch with youth and giving them a platform to express themselves — whether that's in science or mathematics."
The show is rumored to be comparable to the reality show Shark Tank, which focuses on entrepreneurs who have to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges who are already successful business owners.
It is an absolutely fantastic idea. Anything that can get young people (or anyone, for that matter) to consider a career in STEM is a step in the right direction. And the idea of being the creator of the technology and owning the business makes it that much better. So if you think you're the next Mark Zuckerberg, start dusting off those coding skills!
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