Good SAT scores are the key to success, right? Not Really!

If you are concerned about how to prepare your teenager for the harsh realities of life after high school, you are not alone.  There’s test prep.  Keeping up the grades.  Extracurricular activities.  And somewhere, a social life.  

Yet studies have shown that SAT scores aren’t a good predictor of future success.  Grades are also an iffy predictor for success, according to Google’s hiring team.  These assertions are disconcerting for parents like me who love to see those “A’s” on the report card.  How can I make sure my kids are ready for the world they are inheriting?

Is there a cheat sheet for the most important things teens need to know?

Fortunately, there is.

In an interview with the VP for Operations of an aerospace company, we discussed this exact topic.  I wanted to know how to help young students to find their way to success.  Scott Glaser oversees the flight operations for his company, and his answers about success may surprise you.  Here is the list he gave me.

Keys to create a successful life

  • Chase your goals, because course corrections keep you aimed.

  • Invest in relationships, because success is about people.

  • Prepare to fail often, because success isn’t easy to create.

  • Feed passion, because success needs fuel.

  • Commit to life-long curiosity, because it fuels your skills.

To hear more of the interview with Scott, you can listen to it here.


I tried to track down some definitive answers about test scores, grades, and overall academics, but I mostly found a mixed bag.  At the end of the day, the list above will serve both students and young professionals as they move into careers.

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Muahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! Ok, now that I have that out... I can get to work. For as long as I can remember, I have been making things. This habit used to be called "Inventing" but has lately been repurposed by the Maker community with the term "Maker". While there are some subtle differences between Inventing and Making, I have discovered my passion for both by inspiring a new generation of Makers. In this quest to spark creative thinking and problem solving through practical and exciting projects, I draw on my background in biomedical research, high energy fiber laser development, and 15 years of building laboratory devices. As an experimental physicist with a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, I have seen research and development from many angles and am now bringing that experience to middle school and high school students who want to make everything from catapults to cybernetic augmentations. Through the medium of Making and Inventing, students are transformed from passive observers of education to active learners. This powerful shift fosters deep insights, creative expression, collaborative thinking and a host of other skills that are difficult to learn in traditional settings. Along with my wife Debby, an accomplished constructivist educator, I am on a quest to transform education and am looking for like-minded collaborators to bring hands-on learning to future generations.

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