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General Science and Teaching

Connecting with experts

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Cheska Robinson Cheska Robinson 5075 Points

One of my goals is to increase student awareness of STEAM careers. I am slowly reworking my units to become more 3D and problem-based. I would like to connect with STEAM experts and professionals, so students could interact with them and ask them questions for their research. I am in a rural area though, relatively new to the community, and am struggling to find companies and organizations with educational outreach programs. How do you find these connections, and encourage and maintain these school-and-community relationships?

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92369 Points

Hi Cheska, have you tried social media? Join some local groups on FB and ask! Look for STEAM groups on social media. Contact the local news station and find out if they have businesses interested in working with your students. Ask your administration if the school has partners in education. I would certainly check with the local Kiwanis Club. Where are you located? I live in Louisiana and there are many local industries and businesses here willing to work with schools. However, many professionals in my area call it STEM and not STEAM. So you might ask using both tags and if there is no A involved, you can challenge your students to add that later. 

Emily Faulconer Emily Faulconer 5755 Points

I love that you are focusing on this Cheska! This step that may look small requires a lot of planning and foresight on your part, but will help form authentic connections and let students know what STEM actually looks like in the real world as a career. Pamela made a great suggestion regarding facebook groups. Your closest university might have professors who have research they could share with your students. So many science concepts connect to the environment and state parks/departments of environmental protection/etc. often have an education outreach person who can custom tailor a presentation to meet the topics relevant to your students and their course. I did that with a park ranger in my high school chemistry class discussing controlled burns - narrowing in specifically on the combustion reaction. 


I have no experience with this organization but it seems like it may fit your need for a virtual experience: 

Gabe Kraljevic Gabe Kraljevic 4564 Points

I'm not sure if you would find an exact 'STEAM' match, but any careers involved in these fields would suffice (by the way, does the 'A' mean Arts or Agriculture?  I've seen both). I did a quick search of science outreach programs in NY and I hope some of them might be useful:

There is WNY STEM organization out of Buffalo:

Colgate has an outreach program:

I'm sure that conEdison would be open to visits.  They have an educaiton page:

There is a STEM career expo hosted by NYSci open to students grade 6 and up:

Found an online STEM Career explorer:

Columbia has an outreach program that includes engineers visiting schools:


Hope this helps,

Gabe Kraljevic

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