Updated: Feb 10
We can often be overwhelmed by outreach opportunities, but the first step is to find a cause that is dear to your heart. For me, it was showing my fellow student body the crazy diverse paths that a chemistry degree can take you! Though, throughout my undergraduate career I found myself passionate about inspiring others to pursue chemistry. I realized I wanted to do this for all realms of STEM, a broader aspect then just focusing on a degree chemistry. Even though chemistry is the best (keep in mind I am biased... Chemistry major remember)! So within our organization here are 10 ways you can make a difference.
1. Come to a meeting
Come share with us your STEM background. Your experience could be invaluable to a current member who is currently at a crossroads. We are also in our "building a foundation" stage, because we are a newly facilitated (nonprofit status awaiting) organization.
2. Join us for an outreach event
Who doesn't love an a chemical reaction (once again bias), watching a fun experiment that can only be explained through physics, learning that algebra can improve your life, and that there is more to geometry that looking at rectangles. When we go to schools we want to show students where they can apply their education. Unfortunately due to standardized testing and curriculum, students may not be able to be exposed to the every day impact their current lessons are having in the world of science.
3. Reach out to a college professor about your work
Your career, job skills, and every day work life may be exactly what a student is looking for. A simple web search may never lead them to experience the opportunity. Colleges love to expose interesting career paths to students! Before I reach out, I usually find a professor who focuses on the same field as I do. If I am striking up a conversation with a professor that studies something completely different, I like to read through their papers or CV to find commonalities.
4. Present or host a workshop at the Coastal Georgia Reverse Science Fair
This year is the first year we will be hosting an RSF! This is very exciting because it is the first event of its kind in this area. We will need presenters for the high school students to judge! The whole point in the event is to help inspire the youth to research. Knowing the process of how to present a scientific question and how to pursue it builds critical problem solving skills. Researching is a necessary skill not just for STEM majors but for everyone. We live in a society where everything (fact or myth) is on display for the world to see. It is a double edged sword because we can also easily fact check all of the information.
5. Spread the word of our organization
We can't grow if no one knows! Help us out by spreading the word to local schools, undergraduates, and early career scientists, that we have something to offer. From demo shows, to tutoring resources, industry tours, mentor mixers, and forming collaborative relationships!