STEM2D Guide activities can be implemented in a wide variety of places or settings: in a school-based or classroom setting; at an out-of-school learning environment, such as a community center or afterschool program; at a community event; or at an alternative venue, such as a library, museum, or local business.
What to Ask Your Site Representative
Regardless of the setting and before delivering any activity, talk to a representative at the site where the activity will be held. Although you have the primary responsibility for presenting the content, the site representative’s involvement is crucial to its success. They are experts in working with young people; respect their authority and seek their advice. Ask the site representative to:
- Confirm the logistics, including date, time, and location. They should also recruit the students to attend. Ensure all activity materials are gathered and transported to the appropriate location.
- Communicate any schedule changes. Be sure to exchange contact information.
- Verify the site’s policies regarding visitors; most require checking in at the office. Be advised that in most instances, for any contact with a young adult, the educator must be present.
- Confirm the number of students and verify their ages. Activities are appropriate for young people, ages 11–14. If the age of attendees varies significantly, changes to the activity may be required.
- Offer suggestions for classroom management and how best to deliver the activities to young people.
- Recommend how to group or pair students. Pairing requires that all young people actively participate. Teams of three or more young people can be created based on prior experience working together or be randomly assigned. Encourage girls to take leadership roles during the activities.
- Assist with any accommodations required for young people with special needs, those who have limited language skills, or those who have difficulty reading.
- Help with acquiring any audiovisual or technological equipment, setting up the room, or ordering refreshments/meals, if needed. Most activities feature hands-on experiences with real-life application; be sure the site/room can accommodate this type of experience. Consider a seating arrangement where participants can have eye contact with one another.
- Offer feedback to help you communicate effectively with young people.
- Review or introduce key concepts prior to your presentation to prepare the young people for the activity.
What to Note at Your Site
It is recommended that you schedule a meeting with the site representative to review the activity description and key learnings and inquire about the young people’s general abilities. If possible, consider visiting the site; while at the site observe the young people and take note of the following:
- How many young people are there? Knowing this will help you decide how to separate the class into teams and/or pairs.
- How does the site encourage orderly participation? For example, should young people raise their hands when responding to questions or during discussions? How are interruptions handled? Do you see any potential problems with managing the class of young people?
- What does the site do to make each student feel important and at ease? Does the site have a wall clock? Will you need to bring a watch?
- Where can you display posters and visuals? Will you need tape or pushpins for any displays?
- Where is the best location to project the PowerPoint slides?
- How is the room arranged? Will you need to move desks or chairs for any part of your presentation?
- How can you engage the site representative in your presentation?