In my last post, I discussed the importance of outreach, leading into my personal passion for STEM outreach. Within the post, I listed various opportunities/ideas for STEM outreach. The first idea on that list is “Participate in a STEM night at a grade school.” To give you a better idea of what that could entail, I will show you the set-up we had going for Click Bond at a recent STEM night hosted by a local middle school.
Pictured below is the table we had set up for Click Bond. The event took place in the middle’s school gym and included student work showcases as well as professional STEM participants such as Click Bond and other local STEM industry companies.
We typically bring the same basic haul of items:
- Product Examples
- Demo Boards
- Single Piece Products
- Product/Company Information
- Business Cards – Hand out your business card and encourage students to contact you with any questions they might have about your STEM specific career.
- Display Panels
- Freebies – Students love anything they can get their hands on for free. Make sure it has your company name on it so that they will make that connection to their discussion with you and what they snagged for their grab bag.
- 3D Printer
- The word “Manufacturing” seems to fall on deaf ears when talking with the younger generations. I found that the best way to draw them in is with a 3D printer. It catches their attention and allows me to talk about how I use rapid prototyping in my every day job. I bought this 3D printer specifically for outreach and I might need to do a product review on this one because it has been an absolute champ for the astonishing price of only $270!
Make your table unique and draw in the interest of students and parents as they are making their way around the event. It may sound obvious, but SMILE. Be welcoming and approachable. We aren’t going to inspire students to check out STEM if we resort back to our stereotypical, anti-social, engineer ways.
To give you an idea of the event as a whole, here are some additional pictures.
Have you participated in a STEM event? Leave a comment and tell me your ideas on how you make it a success.