We’ve already discussed how educators and parents can promote STEM education. The next logical step is to explore the ways in which a wider community can show their support. After all, pooling resources of educators and parents alike is a tremendous way to show support for young aspiring STEM professionals! However, the vast potential of community outreach can mean a broader definition of “promoting” STEM. What are some different categories of community STEM support?
Developing a STEM-Based Community
Within any town or city are sub-groups of communities, based around individuals with similar interests or passions. If your area does not yet have a STEM-based community, kick-starting one could be the key to promoting STEM education for your neighbors. There are so many types of programs that community members can establish, including after-school programs, library events, and scout troop get-togethers. Figure out what would make the most impact on your community and, if possible, start an inter-school program focused on uniting youngsters interested in STEM.
Understand Underrepresented Groups in STEM
Statistically, men continue to outnumber women in STEM education and careers, and several ethnic minority groups also do not see much representation in STEM industries. As a whole, while efforts have been made to encourage students of all backgrounds to pursue STEM, there is always room for communities to offer more incentive. Several groups invite communities to set up STEM diversity chapters, which can encourage young girls, disadvantaged urban youth, and academically-inclined students to explore the worlds of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Establish Annual Donation Drives
What better way to promote STEM than by funding it? Your community likely comes together for events like Toys for Tots and other charitable donation drives. Get together with neighbors, coworkers, and fellow parents to establish a STEM-based donation drive. You could partner with one of the local school districts or an organization such as Goodwill to provide enough manpower and resources to make the donation drive happen. Once you’ve got the foundation for your campaign, find an organization that you want to support. Just think about what kind of organization would best fit your community. You could even discuss with students what kind of STEM-related cause they’d like to support, and have them help with the process. Bringing the community together to help one another is one of the beautiful parts of promoting STEM education. See what kind of creative promotion you can think up!