HOW TO SET UP A CLUB
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What do you need to establish a STEM club?
Create a strategic STEM vision
• establish your end-goals – do you intend to take a more playful and carefree approach or does your STEM plan include assesing a specific learning goals?
• make sure your end-goals are in line with your district‘s STEM goals (which should be aligned to state standards or Next Generation Science Standards)
• make sure your end-goals are age-appropriate for your target audience
Find your STEM curriculum
• you should create a curriculum that has purpose, direction and goals that are measurable
Create a catchy club name, that fits your specific STEM learning topic
What do you intend to achieve with your STEM Club?
• try to establish a clear purpose for you club and your students • identify key benefits of your STEM club
• try to find a fitting location/space for your STEM Club meatings
• try to find a place that has a lot of space for both your members and your equipment
When choosing a location for your new Club, or reviewing the location of your existing STEM Club, think about
• the type of activity you will be running • how much space will you need
• think about the equipment that you’ll need acquire
• Create a unique and recognisable logo
Try to secure sponsorships and community partnerships
• this very much depends on your curriculum and STEM specialisation but material and technological equipment can get pretty expensive so getting a sponsor would be a tremendous asset.
Interact with other STEM clubs
• try to reach out to other clubs in – it can lead to possible collaborations that could benefit both of your clubs
How to maintain the club in the long run?
Don’t forget to enjoy yourself and have fun
• be sure you are creating activities that are fun, exciting and engaging Approach people who might be interested in geting involved
• this will help you to manage your work in the club more properly and be more effective
a) club leaders
• recruit people to be part of the STEM club Teams
• club leaders may help you with programme planning, risk assesments and child protection, connecting a liasing with key partners ect.
• they might help you with giving expert advice to student, updating your websites, advertising etc. b) supporters
• these are people who aren’t directly involved with the club but can provide you the necessary resources to ensure your success
• they can provide external recognition for the work the club does, highlight funding opportunities etc.
Use social media as a tool to broadcast your meetings
• some clubs resort to using Facebook or Instagram Live
• this can be useful for club members that cannot attend every meating
Ideas for sustaining your STEM Club
• one-off events and drop in sessions to bring in more members and staff
• analyze and review your students‘ satisfaction and progress each term – implement new thing to keep things interesting and exciting
• don’t let your students get overworked or frustrated and encourage them to take breaks
• reward students for their remaining engagement
• use word-of-mouth and let students spread the word by writing articles
Contact local media about your STEM Club and its progress and projects
How to attract members?
Plan ahead and think differently
• have few activities ready-to-go while the group establishes itself
• don’t be afraid to let your club members take the lead
Keep meetings shorter
Interact with students to make your club more accessible
Work with other STEM -related clubs to get the word out about your club
Create social media accounts for example on Instagram or Facebook to attract more students
Problems – solutions
Not enough students are taught science from young age
• student engagement can be quite challenging – STEM subjects are often viewed as hard, uninteresting or unaccessible – this leads to disinterest
• the solution can be to show them science from an early age and insert them in daily curriculum
Science classes aren‘t innovative
• science, if not shown on a proper example, can seem quite boring and not exciting enough to students.
• solution to this problem could be creating interesting practical projects to keep students invested in science and further help them to develop love for it
Not enough gender diverstiy
• the area of STEM is still largely dominated by men
• it can be hard for young girls to push forward and try to overcome the barriers that come with pursuing STEM activities
Possible content and target
Plan an activity calendar
• this can be used as your annual roadmap
• planning your activities beforehand can motivate your students and keep them on track • try to organize meetings with your team of choice to work out yout STEM club ideas
Planning your activities may be the most discouriging part of establishing you STEM club since you can get stuck for ideas, so you need to decide on the right STEM curriculum area
Make sure to decide on a theme to run over a term of number of weeks
• this can help you channel and come up with new ideas you are versed and comfortable in
Possible content and target
Don’t try to take on too much too early
• develop short, medium and long term plans for your activities
Start with something you know
• begin with activities that you feel confident in while developing skills in other areas that are a bit harder for you
• start with something exciting and fun to attract a lot of new members
Plan you activities with your colleagues
• ask for ideas, suggestions or themes for activities that they would like to do