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3 Important Reasons to Do STEM Outreach

Participating in STEM outreach programs is beneficial for you, them and the field(s) as a whole. (Photo via: iStockphoto.com)

Do you desire to pass on knowledge? -to inspire, teach, befriend and motivate others? Would you like to impact youth or work with STEM outside of work? Maybe you want to use your free time to be more involved in your community. Maybe your summer would have felt more fulfilling if you placed your efforts elsewhere. Well, maybe what you should be looking into is STEM Outreach, where you can use your share your knowledge and your valuable time with youth. There are plenty of reasons why you should participate in STEM Outreach, and here they are.

1. YOU:

A) Volunteering and/or working at a camp looks good on a resume. It makes you more hireable and because you work with kids, it speaks to your adaptability and communication skills.

B) You could get paid, depending on the position and organization.

C) Networking can be a great benefit to you whether you’re in the workforce yet or not and by volunteering/working in outreach, you never know what adults or companies or parents/relatives are watching you. They may be affiliated with a company you may be interested in joining.

D) It may do you some good to refresh your memory of concepts or you never know what little ones can teach you, about STEM, the world, or about yourself.

E) Socializing makes you live longer and helping others may endure a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

2. THEM:

A) This could be your chance to inspire someone to go to college and enter a STEM field. They may even go to YOUR college.

B) You may run into someone who does not even like STEM and was forced into camp, but you show them something that sparks a love for it.

C) If you are a part of an underrepresented group in STEM, you may be bringing someone of your same group into your area of study.

D) Every little person needs a big person, that’s just how life goes. They need guidance and someone to teach them, but they also need a friend, someone with similar interests: someone not there to judge them, but to help them.

E) Kids are often eager to learn and this stage in life is the perfect time for them to do so. But, they’re not just looking to you for STEM knowledge; they’re looking to you for the way you act, habits, the way you treat others and process information. They are sponges. Saturate them with good things.

F) You’re helping give these young people something productive, fun and challenging to do with their time, instead of something nonproductive or potentially detrimental.

G) You could be helping a child overcome something, whether it’s a fear or a concept.

3. STEM:

A) There are camps and other organizations that are seeking volunteers and/or employees to educate folks about STEM topics.

B) People often say the children are our future. They also say STEM is the future. Well, it may be smart to combine the two and get kids involved in STEM…seeing as how they are both our future. Having youth grow up with STEM can help them develop future technologies and innovate to better humanity’s way of life and hopefully the world we live in.

Consider being that unforgettable camp counselor or instructor for some young person, that person who recognized their potential, who made them feel special, like they could do anything and be anything. There are plenty of reasons to do STEM outreach. I encourage you to find your own reason. So, reach out, for you, for them, for STEM.


This piece comes to us from one of our talented content contributors, Cynthia Sharpe. Her bio is below and if you would like to work with us you can email us here!

Cynthia M. Sharpe, is a May 2015 graduate of NC State University. Cynthia graduated with a B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing and currently aspires to pursue an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. “As I let my own light shine, I unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” -Cynthia M. Sharpe, inspired by Marianne Williamson

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