Synergy: combined efforts of different individuals working together to produce a product better than the sum of the parts.
What is a Community STEM Synergy?
A Community STEM Synergy is an effective, fun and interactive way to engage students and their families in the excitement of the four STEM topics (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Through hands-on activities and interactions with individuals involved in the STEM fields, students and their families can explore the practical application of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in a fun and inspiring way. They also have the added benefit of learning about potential careers and key steps for achieving their aspirations.
Why host a Community STEM Synergy?
A Community STEM Synergy is an effective way to build a sense of community and support for the Next Generation Science Standards and expose every student to the areas of STEM. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Introduce parents to the elements of the Next Generation Science Standards
- Create a time for students and parents to interact with STEM professionals
- Provide opportunities for STEM career discovery
- Build and strengthen relationships with community professionals
4-W’s of a Community STEM Synergy
When planning a Community STEM Synergy the theme, model or structure of your event will determine the 4-W’s (Who, What, Where, and When) making each Community STEM Synergy unique and memorable. The following 4-W’s are a short list of who may be involved in helping to make your event one of a kind!
|Who||Invite 3 to 5 individuals who will help you with the event planning and coordination. For example, you might consider a parent, principal, STEM professional or community volunteer.|
|What||Get Creative! Each Community STEM Synergy is designed to reflect the needs of your students, their families and teachers. You might design a Career Fair or Panel Discussion, host a Network Mixer, or Activity Night focused on a specific theme such as: Sustainability, Wed Design, Space Exploration, or a Robotics Competition.|
|Where||Hosting a STEM Synergy can happen virtually anywhere, for example, at your school or a public library, Lion’s Club, church, college campus, or an outdoor venue.|
|When||Throughout the school year, Summer or Winter breaks, in the evening or during the day, held in conjunction with National Days of Service or within themed weeks, such as: Engineering Week. Or consider hosting the event at a conference or during open house to kick off the school year!|
Science@OC is here to help!
Science@OC is currently working with six pilot schools to document and develop a toolkit (including planning checklists, sample documents, orientation and training materials) that you can use to make your Community STEM Synergy a GRAND event. Materials will be available in Spring 2015.