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How Can You Help Support STEM Education Programs?

How Can You Help Support STEM Education Programs?

We live in a fast-paced world that is constantly advancing, and we want to ensure the next generation will be equipped to solve any problems our society may face.

If you are interested in helping the next generation to master S.T.E.M. learning and be successful adults solving real-world problems, there are many ways you can help support S.T.E.M programs.

Getting involved in S.T.E.M. education

There are a few ways you can get involved with S.T.E.M. education. You can donate to programs that run S.T.E.M. programs that will be grateful for donations to go towards furthering education and fun S.T.E.M. programs.

Donating does not always mean a financial donation; you could also volunteer your time.

You can do several things to volunteer your time, like starting a fundraiser to collect monetary donations from the community, starting a S.T.E.M. club or program.

There are also websites to check out that have great suggestions to help support their programs a few to check out are:

Tips for fundraising to support S.T.E.M. education programs

You can turn anything into a fundraiser. Let your creativity flow and have fun with it.

The more fun it is for others, the more likely they will donate.

Some ideas for fundraisers are:

  • Host a party. The options are endless when it comes to a party to raise funds.
  • Throw a themed party
  • Host an open mic night
  • Have a dinner party
  • Run a 50/50 draw at your party
  • Organize a walk-a-thon, a marathon, a dance-off, a sporting event. Getting active while raising money is always a hit with communities.
  • You can set up a table outside a grocery store or popular shopping centers with information about S.T.E.M. education and its benefits. Be sure to have a donation box for people to throw in some change.
  • Let your creativity flow. There are very creative ways people raise money and have fun doing it. You can do a scavenger hunt, a cold-water challenge, shave your head or even rent a dunk tank for a day.

The more fun people have, the more generous they will be when it comes to fundraising. It's a win-win situation.

Tips for organizing a S.T.E.M. program

If you decide to dedicate your time to running a S.T.E.M. program, here are a few tips to help you run a successful program.

  1. Make a plan. This is a big step and can become overwhelming. Be sure you have allotted yourself more than enough time to create a comprehensive plan. A S.T.E.M. education program is a big undertaking when developing the program itself and implementing it. Having a solid, well-thought-out plan will make your program run smoother, and you will be ready and prepared for any problems that may arise. You will need to plan what you will teach in your program, how you will teach it, and how to make your program sustainable over the long term.

Don't forget to write out your "why." Whenever you plan anything, whether it's a S.T.E.M. program or a healthy eating program, having a solid why is always good to keep you on track when things are not going your way, or your enthusiasm starts to wane. 

  1. Get to know your community. Knowing the schools and programs in your community will help you create a S.T.E.M. program. A few questions you can ask yourself are:
  • Do we already have S.T.E.M. programs in our schools or community?
  • How is your program different from the others?
  • What kind of support do you have in your community?
  • Are the schools willing to implement your S.T.E.M. learning program?
  • What is the students' social and academic skill level in the schools in your community?

Getting to know your community and then creating a needed program will be vital to the success of your S.T.E.M. education program.

  1. Create a professional development and support system. If you are implementing a S.T.E.M. education program to a school or community center for the first time, you will need to keep in mind that your support and knowledge of the S.T.E.M. subjects may be required for years to come. Even in a school or community with existing S.T.E.M. programs, you will need to be available for support and offer professional development to teachers implementing your program.
  2. Monitor the program's progress. A realistic time frame for a S.T.E.M. education program to be implemented and run successfully is five years. Create a plan or system for monitoring how your program is doing over the years, problems you encounter and how they were solved. Finding a way to monitor your program is an excellent way to ensure your program has longevity and is bringing as much value as possible to your community.
  3. Make your program visible. Nowadays, it is easy to make anything visible online. Make sure you have a plan to get your program on social media, on the local news, in school newsletters, whatever way you can. Be sure your S.T.E.M. education program is in front of the people you want it to be. Students, their parents, teachers, and anyone else in the community. This will encourage others to get involved, show their support, and stir up an interest in what you are doing.
  4. Understand it will take time. This may be the hardest step. Waiting. Being patient. Anything worthwhile doing takes time and cannot be rushed. This is where having a strong "why" will come in handy.
  5. Create a needed curriculum. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of creating something you love that you forget to check if it's needed. Talk to teachers and community leaders to find out what programs are needed or lacking in the curriculum to help you create a useful program and equip the next generation with the knowledge they actually need.

 Introducing Ava the S.T.E.M. Princess ®

Ava is one of those genius girls who was inspired to make a difference and utilize her intellect as well as her passion to take advantage of the right types of social channels and become a global S.T.E.M. ambassador. She is purely focused on showcasing how fun and exciting S.T.E.M. careers can be, by showing in reality what it is all about.

She has created a platform where she shows experiments that may seem simple, but are powered by S.T.E.M. principles. She then brings it to a level where anyone can understand, showing that even someone as young as her can help empower her fellow community and spread the news that S.T.E.M. careers and lifestyle can be really for anyone who is ready to put in the hard work and dedication.

Take a look at her story here. In addition you can find additional information about not only her but the entire Team Genius Squad, and where they will be presenting next. 

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When it comes to supporting S.T.E.M. education programs in your community, you have a few options available to you. No matter how you decide to contribute, you can feel good knowing that you are helping shape the next generation and how they will interact and solve problems in an ever-changing world.